To date, James has played 8(+1) games for Altrincham and scored four goals for the Club, who are pleased to retain his services for this further period.
Right: Liam Rutledge takes on a Northwich opponent as Duncan Watmore awaits the outcome.
Worcester’s four-game winning sequence in the league may have come to an end, but they went down fighting against the best team they have played this season... But the visitors, led by new captain Kevin O’Connor, who has taken over from Ryan Clarke, had more than enough chances to have taken a point from this contest with Emeka Nwadike and sub Simon Brown both being denied by the woodwork in the second-half....
Having forced 11 corners throughout the match, Worcester they didn’t to trouble home keeper Jan Budtz as much as they should from the resulting flag-kicks... Defensively, however, they were well organised and they worked hard to keep Jim Harvey’s side at bay for long periods... At times, the visitors played with just Mike Symons up front with Luke Corbett dropping deep to reinforce the midfield as City looked to hit the hosts on the counter... Repeat of performances like this and Worcester will win more than they will lose this season and can head into games against Guiseley, Droylsden and Altrincham with confidence high."
Stockport County lost 1-0 at Southport in the FA Cup, giving a debut to 17 year old Ian Ormson and with 16 year old Youth Team keeper Dane Smith on the bench. County report that "The home side took the lead in the second minute with their first attempt on target, after a long throw from Andy Owens on the left was lofted back into the box before eventually finding Owens on the edge of the box, his strike finding the bottom corner... [Later,] Piergianni headed goal wards from a Miles free kick".
Mark Beesley netted a brace for Burscough as they drew 2-2 at Buxton. At Stamford, James McCarthy scored as his Leek Town side won 4-1.
The Times & Star says that "A millionaire businessman trying to buy Workington Reds today outlined his dream of turning Borough Park into a luxury stadium fit for a return to the Football League. Baron Bloom wants to transform Workington’s dilapidated ground by building a new £1.5 million grandstand.
The London property tycoon believes he can take them from the Blue Square North back into the Football League after 34 years in the non-league wilderness. The Workington board this week kicked out an improved second bid of £250,000 from Bloom but he is hoping to seize control of the club by persuading former chairman and biggest shareholder Dale Brotherton to sell him his 40 per cent stake in the club. He would then need only a further 11 per cent of the shares to have control of the club.
Bloom, whose company headquarters is in London’s Mayfair, owns commercial property in Whitehaven and Cleator Moor and has developed a love of Cumbria. He says he would wipe out the club’s £100,000 debt to their current directors and then begin the task of developing the run-down stadium, which is on a long-term lease from Allerdale Borough Council.
Despite a current fan base of only around 400, Bloom believes there is huge potential to turn Reds into a full-time, professional club. Bloom said, 'I’m very ambitious in all my business dealings. I know Workington was a league club and to get it back there would be the ultimate aim. It won’t be an easy process but it is something I would like to achieve. I would keep the club debt-free and build a £1.5 million grandstand. There is grant-aid available and the rest of the project would be funded by myself. Football in the North East and North West has fantastic support and I think there is potential to sustain a Football League club. I would love to be able to take the club back to where it once was.
When Workington did well in the play-offs a few years ago, the crowds were higher than they are now, and if we can be successful and play good football more supporters will come along'.
Bloom insists he won’t make another improved offer to the board but would still be prepared to buy the club if the six directors change their mind. However, his most likely course of action now is to seek a meeting with Brotherton, who quit as chairman in 2006 after six years at the helm. Bloom said, 'There are directors’ loans in the club of approximately £100,000 and my offer was to pay that back in full and an addition of £1.05 per share. I’m hoping a deal to buy the club isn’t dead. There are other ways to do it like speaking to Dale Brotherton about his shares'".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Nuneaton Town`s left-back Aaron James has been loan[ed] to Warwickshire neighbours Rugby Town. The 24-year-old joined Boro in the summer after spending the last few years at university in Stirling in Scotland... James, who plays in the same position as established left-sided players Simon Forsdick and Eddie Nisevic, moves to... get match fitness".
Right: Alty's back four early in the game consisted of Lees, Flynn, Williams and Lynch.
In an entertaining game at Moss Lane, Altrincham battled well against a second-half improvement by the visitors to draw 2-2. Alty had led 2-0 in the first half. Both Alty's goals were excellently taken by Jack Redshaw. The first, a low drive from Michael Twiss's feed, came in the fourth minute, was followed by an expertly placed sidefooted goal from Simon Richman's pass in the 28th minute. Lingard pulled one back for United five minutes before the interval.
After making five substitutions at the interval, United dominated the second half and levelled when Morrison scored impressively after 53 minutes. But Alty defended well and finished the game strongly.
Manchester United also have a brief report.
Warren Joyce's Reds are taking on Altrincham in a 1pm kick-off in a bid to increase match sharpness ahead of next month's encounter against Everton, with no league fixture scheduled for the remainder of October. Alty are in seventh place in the Blue Square Bet North table.
The ticket prices for the friendly are £7 for adults, £4 for concessions and £2 for Under-12s. It's pay on the day at the turnstiles. United have been in superb form at reserve-team level since an opening day defeat to Arsenal, reeling off six wins on the spin before the goalless draw with Blackburn last Thursday".
United Reserves' line-up for their last game was - Amos; Vermijl, Fornasier, M.Keane, McGinty; Pogba, Brown, Petrucci (Lingard), Cole; Macheda (Morrison); Diouf. Subs not used: W.Keane, Thorpe, Cofie, Coll.
If you cannot get to the game, you can follow it either on...
Saturday, 29 October
The above prices apply to all parts of the ground i.e. terraces and stands.
Wikipedia states that "John Ramshaw is a former professional football player and the manager of Shepshed Dynamo. He was assistant to Paul Cox at Eastwood from 2007-2010".
Also, the club site reports that "Eastwood Town F.C. owner Steve Lynch’s plans for building up the Club’s involvement with the town's people received encouraging support from Councillor Milan Radulovic today. At a meeting with the Broxtowe Borough Council Leader, Steve and his chairman Paddy Farrell were brought up-to-date with unpaid invoices relating to Council Services dating back for some time.
After Steve had emphasised his determination to get these cleared by the previous administration, Milan outlined his hopes for the future of the Coronation Park complex. He envisaged a joint venture between Broxtowe B.C. and the Town’s major Football Club whereby a wide range of civic activities could be centred around the park.
His major interest was in providing facilities for the young people in the area and the Football Club could play a vital part by making available its existing services and cooperating in the provision of new and much needed all-weather surfaces.
Steve pointed out how neatly Milan’s vision dovetailed with his own youth academy plans and welcomed the huge part council backing could play. Milan gladly accepted an invitation to attend the next fans' open meeting and volunteered to answer any questions raised."
From the Times & Star we learn that "Former Workington Reds' chairman Dale Brotherton could hold the key to millionaire playboy Baron Bloom’s hopes of getting his hands on the team. Brotherton, who is still the club’s biggest shareholder, today revealed he would be willing to meet Bloom after it emerged the Workington board had turned down a second bid from the 37 year-old property tycoon.
Speaking to the News & Star from his company’s headquarters in Mayfair, Bloom said he would be interested in meeting Brotherton to discuss the possibility of buying his stake in the club. The flamboyant businessman would then be looking to buy around another 11 per cent of the shares, which would enable him to seize control of the struggling club.
However, in another fresh development, Bloom claimed he has had approaches from three other clubs and talks with one of them are continuing. He said, 'I have official notification that the second bid has been turned down and then an email to ask if I would increase my bid. It can be revived by either the board accepting my offer or a deal with Dale Brotherton for his stake. It wouldn’t be difficult to get another 11 per cent of shares that would take me to 51 per cent and give me control. My offer to the board will not be increased.
They can come back to me but the window is getting smaller and smaller as I have spoken to another club. I have been approached by three clubs, two in the same league as Workington and one in a higher league asking if I want to get involved. I met the chairman of one of them and I will be having another meeting in the next two days'.
Brotherton, who was club chairman between 2000-2006, said he would be open to talks with Bloom about selling his shareholding. He said, 'If there is investment and it is beneficial for the club then it has to be weighed up. If he wants to meet me I will. I can categorically say I have nothing to do with the takeover bid whatsoever. I would like to meet him face to face to see what his plans are, what his ambitions are and what he will do for the club'.
Bloom, who owns Citigroup Estates Property Agency, insists his interest in the struggling non-league club is nothing out of the ordinary, adding he owns commercial property in Whitehaven and used to have property in Workington and Barrow.... He said, 'My interest in Workington Reds may be strange to some people but I have spent a lot of time up there and it is a beautiful part of the world. I have had numerous commercial investments up there and I own property in Cumbria'".
News of an ex-Alty loanee comes from the North Wales Weekly News which says that "Skipper Damien Allen is set to return to the starting line-up and new signing Lee McEvilly is also added to the squad for Saturday's away game at Boston United. The Lincolnshire side are three points and four places ahead of Colwyn Bay, so this is a big game for both clubs in the chase for a top five play-off spot.
Manager Dave Challinor says, 'It is a tough place to go and not a nice journey as I know when I went there in the Football League. They have bags of experience in their team, but we have a game plan aimed at trying to get us a result and it is up the players we select to carry that out'.
Challinor is not sure yet whether former Wrexham and Northern Ireland striker McEvilly, who has recently been playing for Chorley, will start the game or make his debut from the bench. 'He trained on Thursday and is looking quite fit, but we will leave a final decision until after we arrive', he said. Allen, however, is set to return to the starting line-up after a back problem and Jon Newby has also recovered froma hamstring strain, although he may start on the bench to ease him back into match action. Hopes of signing another forward this week have been put on hold as the player's present club want him to play in their FA Cup tie this weekend. Depending on the result of that game, there may be developments next week. Midfielder Bradley Barnes won't be in the squad for Boston after his loan spell from Chester ended last weekend - altghough there is a chance of coming to the Bay on a permanent basis. Chester have negotiated a settlement to cancel his contract, but there was not enough time for the paperwork to be done to transfer him to Colwyn Bay in time for this weekend".
Fundraising has started to raise £50,000 so Leighton can go to Germany for further treatment, which is not offered in the UK. Not only would the treatment increase Leighton's chance of survival to 50%, but he would also have stem cells removed so if there was a relapse, Leighton would have another chance for more treatment to fight Neuroblastoma.
Gates open at 12.30pm and kick off is 2pm. Admission is £5 per person.
The two team captains are Ryan Thomas (Jason in Coronation Street) and Danny Miller (Aaron in Emmerdale)
Others taking part include:- Mark Wright (TOWIE), Adam Thomas(Adam, Emmerdale), Jack Shepherd (David, Coronation Street), Chris Fountain(Tommy, Coronation Street), Kelvin Fletcher(Andy, Emmerdale), James Thornton(John, Emmerdale), Dean Gaffney(Robbie, Eastenders), Luke Tittenson(Daz, Emmerdale), Elliott Tittensor(Carl, Shameless), Callum Best, George Sampson (Britain's Got Talent), Will Rush (Josh, Waterloo Road), Jack McMullan (Finn, Waterloo Road), R.I.O. Tony Discipline (Tyler, Eastenders), Matt Lapinskas (Anthony, Eastenders), Philip Olivier (Holyoaks), Stuart Pilkington(Big Brother).
There will be other celebrities taking part who have yet to confirm their availability".
His wife, Karen is, if possible, a keener fan than her husband. Daughter, Sarah, 22, claims to hate football - she never watches it on television - but she's always at the ground either selling programmes or checking the attendance figures. And 24 year-old son, Christopher, who played for the club as a goalkeeper, still finds time from his teaching post to train with the team. So, for the Rowleys, this is very much a family affair. And so it is for most of the supporters, with families making up a a sizeable percentage of the total".
After outlining Grahame's background and how he gave up playing rugby union after breaking his leg, the article explains how Grahame "works as a locum [pharmacist], he spends three days a week at the club and attends all home and away games".
Grahame explains how the club has "resisted the temptation of spending money we hadn't got... That's because we are a local club in the true sense of the word and we've always paid our bills rather then risk shafting local businesses".
As for this season, Grahame concludes, "realistically, we are as good as anyone else in the league. It is just down to a question of consistency. But being part of one, big happy family is worth all the setbacks".
Chairman Lord Peter Snape revealed Evans - who was instrumental in bringing fromer Liverpool & Man City midfielder DH [Dietmar Hamann] to the club in the summer - has returned with another offer but he now faces competition from the supporters group headed by Gannon. The consortium - who will officially launch the bid at a meeting on November 5 - are hoping to raise enough cash to buy a controlling share.
Gannon said 'We're calling on every fan, past and present, to be part of building a bright future for County. Theres a role for everyone who is willing or able to help restore the passion and pride of our club'.
Former Stockport councillor Helen Foster-Grime said, 'The wind of change is blowing through Stockport and the fans groups have come together under the stewardship of their former manager JG. Plans to secure the future of the club and rescue County from its current slide are being drawn up by supporters'. John Fitzpatrick, chairman of fans' group Help the Hatters added, 'We won't sit idly by and let County die'".
Elsewhere, "Gloucester City have signed forward Ben Hunt from Weston-super-Mare. Hunt joined Bristol Rovers in 2008 after seven years at the West Ham Academy... He played fourteen games for the Rovers' first-team and enjoyed a loan spell at Gloucester in 2009, scoring four goals in a dozen matches. He also featured twice for Newport County on loan in the 2009/10 season. Hunt played for both Dover Athletic and Lewes in the Conference South during last term before signing for Weston in the summer".
BSB North reports that "Histon boss David Livermore says the club will not be taking any Cambridge United players on loan. Blaine Hudson, Liam Hughes and Jack Eades are set to be sent out on loan to gain first-team experience, but after initially expressing an interest in taking the trio, Livermore has since gone cold on the idea - due to the money involved in the deal.
He told Cambridge News, 'The email has been sent out and it states they'd be looking for money towards their wages. It's only Eades they wouldn't require a financial contribution for if he was playing. If we can find someone that would strengthen us and is affordable - i.e. costs nothing - then we'd always be interested. At the moment, I'm quite happy and the budget's been spent. We'll have to keep being clever with how we get people into the club. We're getting close to having a fully-fit squad now. Hopefully we can start picking up the points to get us up the table'".
BSBN says that "Boston United chairman David Newton is convinced the club is in good hands with joint managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville at the helm... Boston have been inconsistent at times this term, and after winning two games in a row, they lost 6-1 to Altrincham, before again winning two matches. The Pilgrims were also knocked out o the FA Cup at the first hurdle, but they are now in a very commendable seventh place.
Newton told This is Lincolnshire, 'You've got to remember that they're new managers. Yes, they were caretaker managers at the end of last season, but then they had to carry on the job of Rob (Scott) and Paul (Hurst)... You can't expect instant success... If I felt Jason and Lee didn't know what issues needed addressing then I would be worried. But that isn't the case. I think we're in quite a good position. We are going in the right direction'".
According to the North Wales Weekly News, "Former Wrexham and Northern Ireland striker Lee McEvilly is in line to make his debut for Colwyn Bay at Boston United this Saturday. Much-travelled McEvilly, 29, signed for the Seagulls on Tuesday night and manager Dave Challinor believes... 'We need someone who can get hold of the ball and Lee certainly fits the bill. He’s a big, strong, aggressive and very experienced front man who is horrible to play against and he will benefit our young players'...
Challinor is also running the rule over former Port Vale midfielder Ryan Connolly, who recently returned from a spell playing in Sweden, and has put in seven days on another striker... The Seagulls are only four points off the top five, but the boss knows his side have to start scoring more if they are to maintain a realistic challenge for a play-off spot. 'We had some good opportunities to create chances and take control of the game and we didn't take them', he said. 'We told the players at half-time that if they weren't more clinical in the final third we would be made to pay for it – and that is exactly what happened. In the end we have conceded two sloppy goals from free-kicks near the halfway line which we haven't dealt with. After that, the players haven't been brave enough to get hold of the ball and play with it and have taken the easy option of lumping long balls forward. That is not how I want us to play the game – if I did I would put together a team of six footers! If the players we have can't follow instructions and do what we ask of them then we have to bring in others that can'".
Reports from the BBC say that "Workington have rejected a second and final bid from London-based property tycoon Baron Bloom to take over the running of the club... at a meeting on Wednesday. However, Bloom has since told BBC Sport he is yet to receive an 'official response' from Workington. He also revealed he is in negotiations with another unnamed club...
'The board had to make sure the offer met the value of the club', Workington reporter John Walsh told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'The [undisclosed] offer was felt to have fallen well short of that value. As I understand it though, Baron Bloom, if he wants to pursue this, can contact the shareholders directly and do it that way'".
Sinnott was looking forward to taking on high-flying Celtic after his resurgent Robins soared to fifth on the back of a four-match winning streak. But a clinical Stalybridge went top after a convincing win over Alty – and Hyde’s first league defeat at third-placed Guiseley. The Robins have now played each of the top three, taking just one point, and Sinnott wants revenge later in the season.
'Saturday wasn’t nice but we have to learn from it and move on', said the Alty boss. 'We need to do better against teams high up and in the reverse fixtures we’ll be looking for payback'...
'Our defending was disappointing and that gave us a mountain to climb. We never got a foothold in the game', said Sinnott. 'The crucial goal was their third and I’ve told the players we need to be more aggressive in our defending. I don’t mean kicking people, I mean having a presence about you, being more aggressive physically and mentally'.
Alty don’t have a league game this Saturday but there will be two games at Moss Lane this weekend. Sinnott will give fit-again pair Robbie Lawton and Simon Richman a chance to boost their fitness in a friendly against a Manchester United XI on Saturday".
Meanwhile, Brian Flynn writes in the Sale & Altrincham Messenger, "Altrincham's four-match winning streak in Blue Square Bet North came to a frightening halt as Stalybridge Celtic ascended to the league summit, with a clinical display of finishing that left the large travelling contingent of Altrincham fans ruefully reflecting on further evidence of major defensive frailties away from Moss Lane.
A 5-1 defeat may have been a little harsh on the Robins, but manager Lee Sinnott felt that it was a similar scenario to the FA Cup reverse against Witton Albion at the beginning of the month.
'The mood was good leading up to the game and we had worked hard on our defensive play during training but we looked clumsy in the opening ten or fifteen minutes and, without wishing to take anything away from Stalybridge, we contributed heavily to our own downfall. I felt that we had individual players that could hurt them but it didn’t work out that way, at all, as they finished their chances very well and we fell short in their penalty area. You can’t afford to defend like we did and expect to get away with it'.
Whilst ‘Bridge leapfrogged Hyde to go top, Altrincham’s initial stay in a play-off position lasted just seven days and with no competitive game until November 5th, Sinnott will hope that Saturday’s friendly against a Manchester United XI, will be a useful opportunity for a few of his players. 'Brian Summerskill, Simon Richman and Robbie Lawton are all in need of match minutes and Saturday’s game gives us the opportunity to give them that, ahead of what is quite a busy November schedule'.
At the request of Manchester United, Saturday’s game at Moss Lane will have a 1.00pm kick off. For Altrincham FC season ticket holders, entry is free; for all other spectators, admission is £7 for adults and £4 for concessionaries, including 12-16 year olds. Under-12s pay just £2".
Other angles come from the FA and Darlington; firstly, The FA says that "Darlington set up a home tie against Sheffield FC after overcoming Altrincham with a comfortable 3-0 victory... Although Altrincham had the better of the general play, Darlington looked more assured in possession...
Altrincham suffered a major setback in the build-up to the game with the news that influential striker, Duncan Watmore, would not be available due to school commitments and the home side certainly missed the forward’s explosive pace and natural composure in the final third. Watmore transforms Altrincham from a mechanical outfit into a stylish side which is elegant on the eye. Without him, they lack a cutting edge and Darlington took full advantage.
The opening goal came somewhat against the run of play with Darlington scoring with what was the first genuine chance that they had managed to create... Before the Quakers had broken the deadlock, Altrincham had seemed more likely to strike first blood. First, Liam Rutledge capitalised on Anthony Snook’s poor control but his low strike was well held by Darlington goalkeeper Jordan Nixon. Midfielder Matt Fearon then called Nixon into action with a rasping strike from distance but once again the goalkeeper was equal to it.
After gaining the lead, Darlington grew in confidence with Lambert’s direct running causing no end of problems down the right hand side. Despite Darlington being the more composed of the two teams, Altrincham continued to create opportunities and the home side were unfortunate to go into the break still trailing to their opponents. A flurry of chances came their way as the interval approached with Jack Woolley firing wide and Derryn Ofori denied by that man Nixon once again.
Altrincham came out in the second half with a point to prove, and searched valiantly for a precious equaliser. Woolley missed a gilt-edged opportunity just after the break and Nixon then produced a couple of outstanding saves to preserve his side’s lead. With the game becoming stretched, Darlington were looking increasingly likely to further their lead...
The home side were understandably deflated by the concession of a second goal, and the third came with an air of inevitability about it... It was left to Robson to hammer the final nail into Altrincham’s Youth Cup coffin with a composed finish through the legs of Adam Reid in the Altrincham goal".
And the Quakers themselves add that "Head of youth Craig Liddle, who is also currently in caretaker charge of Darlington's senior team, said, 'We didn't get going at all in the first half but still went in one up against the run of play. The second half was much improved and was comfortable in the end but credit to Altrincham, who gave us a real test in the first half".
'It's a fantastic offer, I'd very surprised if the board turned it down', he told BBC Sport. 'I've made two bids, and it's my best and final offer'.
He added, 'Humphrey Dobie was very nice. In fact, everybody at the club was very nice and gentlemanly when I visited but some of the board members are in their 80s and it needs young blood and enthusiasm to take the club forward'...
'We would have to put it to the shareholders, and we told him we could not recommend it to our shareholders', Dobie told BBC Radio Cumbria. 'The only offer that has been made has been rejected'.
Bloom, the son of property developer, Desmond, established himself as a property tycoon alongside his father at the start of the millennium. He floated Eurocity Properties on the London Stock Exchange prior to leaving the company in April 2002, having acquired properties throughout the United Kingdom during his stint as managing director. However, his rise was temporarily halted by a three-month prison term after he was convicted of indecent assault in January 2003.
On his release Bloom returned to business by forming property investment advisory practice Citigroup Estates and, in addition, is currently chief executive officer at the tailoring industry supplier CA Sperati. It is his experience in dealing with property in Cumbria that alerted him to the potential of a deal with Workington.
'I'm London-based, but I have owned commercial property in Cumbria, in places such as Whitehaven, Workington and Barrow, and it's a beautiful part of the country', Bloom continued. 'The club has a decent ground, the fans in the north east and north west are the best in the country, and they love their football. I know they used to be a league club, and as a 37-year-old, ambitious man, I want to take the club back into the league, but I know it's not a five minute job'".
Comment on this comes from the News & Star. "Chairman Humphrey Dobie has rejected an undisclosed takeover bid for Workington Reds from property tycoon Baron Bloom... Dobie said the offer did not meet his valuation and he would not recommend the deal to the other shareholders...
Dobie said, 'At first, I didn’t know if Baron was his title or his first name... This is the first time in my tenure that someone has submitted a concrete offer for the club. There has been interest but nothing like this. We don’t know if Baron will come back with an offer and we’ll have to think about it if he does but that doesn’t mean there’s any guarantee it’ll be accepted'.
Dobie revealed Bloom would expect him to stand down as chairman and the rest of the serving directors to resign if he took over".
According to BSB North "Boston United have confirmed the departure of veteran midfielder Craig Armstrong to Hucknall Town... to take up the role of player-coach under new manager Des Lyttle. Armstrong joined the Pilgrims from Eastwood Town in September and went on to make his debut against Altrincham on October 8".
Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Town skipper Mark Noon has committed his future to the side, along with youngsters James Armson and Eddie Nisevic. The 28-year-old has agreed a one-year contract extension... with Armson and Nisevic also signing 12-month deals... Noon told Nuneaton News, 'I was offered the deal quite early and I'd like the rest of the boys to stay together. Some of the lads might go on to bigger and better things and that's what they should do, because we've got some very talented players. Hopefully, me agreeing a new deal will persuade some others to sign'.
Noon is now hoping the likes of Gaz Dean, Adam Walker and Robbie Burns will follow suit by penning a new Nuneaton deals".
The Nuneaton News adds that "Nuneaton Town have agreed a deal to extend striker Danny Mitchley’s loan until beyond Christmas after an impressive first month with the club. The Mansfield Town player was set to leave Boro after this weekend’s FA Cup tie at Nantwich Town but he will now stay for a further two months, according to manager Kevin Wilkin.
He said, 'We’ve agreed a deal with Mansfield for Danny to stay until December 31, I believe... He’s looked really bright in front of goal. He’s a constant threat and he’s worked some great shots for us', he said".
Right: Ollie Riley and Derryn Ofori contest possession against Darlington.
But City need a new base by December 2013, six months after they are due to leave their 100-year-old ground, or they will be hit for a capital gains tax bill of around £400,000. That could take the club under as the £1.5million still to be received from Careys' New Homes when they leave the Lane goes straight to St Modwen to fund a stadium.
City won’t see any of that cash unless they can break the contract with the Birmingham property developer or it expires in 2017 without a ground having gained planning permission... Hampson said, 't will scupper the football club if we don’t find something to roll the proceeds of the Lane sale in to, we want to know what is going on'.
Vastly scaled-down plans for a ground, which would only be suitable for City’s current level, are still waiting to go before Worcester City Council planners. However, Hampson revealed to a packed fans’ forum that Guildhall officials have concerns over the quality of the stadium designs, which could include prefabricated structures to slash costs. The viability of the scheme continues to be called into question, while the Highways Agency have again flagged up issues regarding pedestrian access over the dual carriageway.
St Modwen want to develop the 20-acre site, between junctions six and seven of the M5, for a hotel, offices and car showrooms but cannot proceed without a stadium being built. The firm were contacted and asked what would they do if Worcester City went bust but said they were not in a position to answer a hypothetical question. City have not ruled out the possibility of asking Careys if they can stay at the Lane beyond June 2013, until the Wembley company are ready to build, but that option has not yet been explored."
The Nuneaton News is the source of reports that "Bedworth United are hoping to ward off interest from Hinckley United in right-back Alex Dean. The 21-year-old has caught the attention of Knitters' manager Dean Thomas after impressing in a friendly between the clubs two weeks ago. However, Bedworth boss Steve Farmer is hoping the converted right winger will choose to stay at the Oval and reject a move to the Blue Square Bet North side.
He said, 'We’ve had the seven days in for Alex after Dean was very impressed by what he saw in him in the friendly we played. Alex has only been a full-back for three months so he’s got a lot to learn... We don’t want him to go... Corny as it sounds, we are trying to achieve history here and I want Alex to be part of that'... Dean, twin brother of Nuneaton Town centre-half Gareth Dean, began his career with Leicester City’s academy before joining Nuneaton Town".
According to NL Daily "Former Forest Green Rovers hotshot Marc McGregor has joined Evo-Stik Southern League Division One South & West side Bishop's Cleeve on loan. One of the hottest striking talents in the semi-professional game a decade ago, the vastly experienced striker has struggled to break into the side at parent club Worcester City this season, so Cleeve boss Alex Sykes went calling...
'He is one of the best natural finishers I've ever seen in the non-League game and while he's a little older he still has the quality', said Sykes".
The FA has a preview of tonight's Youth Cup tie. It says, "Altrincham manager George Heslop is hoping for an improved performance from his players in tonight’s FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying clash at Moss Lane. Since overcoming Lancaster City on penalties in the previous round, Heslop has seen his side slump to two consecutive defeats, and the boss thinks that the players may have paid the price for having more than one eye on this evening’s game.
'We have been well off the boil since the last round and that has been disappointing. I have been trying to convince them that anyone who I felt was not giving 100 per cent wouldn’t play tonight. However, it is human nature to be excited for a big game and, of course, there is also that fear of getting injured, too'.
Altrincham’s hopes have suffered a major setback in the build-up to the game as they look to cope with the loss of explosive striker Duncan Watmore, who is away in India on a school trip, and the manager has been forced to draft in some replacements.
'I think there will be three changes from the 16 that featured against Lancaster. We are bringing in Jack Woolley and Dominic Taylor and we also have Ryan Barry back from injury in midfield. [He] was heartbroken to miss the last round so that is a big boost for us'.
Meanwhile, Heslop has been doing his homework on the visitors and, having watched a DVD of Darlington’s game against York earlier on this season, the manager feels that his opponents' physicality may prove to be a decisive factor but is counting on his own side’s technical prowess to make the difference.
'They are a big, strong side, which plays a lot of direct football. It’s going to be a tough battle against a full-time outfit that play in the Football League Youth Alliance, which is a level up from the league that we play in. However, if we are playing at our best, we can get a result. I will always back my boys from a technical point of view. My two lads in the centre of midfield are quite small but they are technically excellent and when they are bigger and stronger, they will be top, top players.
'We have some plans to try and overcome the physical threat posed by Darlington. I have been juggling around with some different formations and hopefully we will get it right'. Should Heslop oversee a momentous victory, Altrincham will have the opportunity to host Sheffield FC in the First Round Proper".
"A match which is a derby between us is always competitive from the first whistle and this was no different. The game started with Alty just having a fit eleven and three half-fit subs playing into the wind. Stockport took full advantage with a lot of balls played with the wind that we struggled to deal with at times. And, before long, the Yellows took advantage of a kick out from Nadine which blew back and landed at their centre-forward's feet. She then proceded to lash the ball past Nadine into the bottom corner. Not long later, another high ball again deceived our defence and we were punished again. We still tried to play our football the right way and managed to take the game to Stockport and create our own chances.
Half Time 0-2
After a team talk and a substitution, through which Kim replaced Maya on the left wing, we attacked with new gusto and soon had the Yellows on the back-foot again, creating chance after chance. I thought it wasn't going to be our day until a clever run down the right wing by Nat, who cut the ball back to Hannah lurking on the outside the box. She carefully picked her spot in the top corner of the goal leaving their keeper with no chance.
Now we really had the bit between our teeth and, with 15 mins to go, Alty made a couple of substitutions, bringing off Ella, who had worked tirelessly upfront throughout with Tallulah and Shannon came on for Kate at left back. Faye set off again down the right wing and put a peach of a cross into the box which caused mayhem in the Yellows' defence and the ball fell kindly to Nat, who shot into an unguarded net... 2-2, with about 8 mins to go.
From a Hannah corner the Yellows got in a mess again and, after a scramble, Nat headed the ball into the net, for what we thought was the winner but a foul was given by the ref with the Yellows' keeper having got injured in the scramble and she had to go off. The game ended with Alty still on the attack and looking for the winner but it wasn't to be and, after going two down in the first half against a very good team, we had to settle with a draw, still keeping our unbeaten run going and onwards to the next game, v Sandbach away on the 6th November. All in all a good day for the Ladies... Up the Alty!"
Pitchero Non-League say that "Eastwood Town have added well-known local player Lavell White to their squad. White, 21, arrives at Coronation Park from neighbours Rainworth Miners Welfare, whom he joined in the summer. A tricky, skilful and fast wide player or striker, White signed for the Wrens from league rivals Carlton Town, where he had a brief spell after arriving via Baker Joiner Midland Alliance outfit Dunkirk. Originally with Gedling Town, White has also worn the colours of Central Midlands League side Pelican".
From NL Daily we learn that "Boston United have extended the loan spell of Chesterfield striker Jordan Burrow. The 19-year-old, who has netted winning goals against Droylsden and Workington during his first month at The Jakemans Stadium, will now remain with the Pilgrims until at least November 26... Burrow has also been granted permission to play for the Pilgrims in the FA Trophy. United enter the competition at the third qualifying round stage on Saturday November 26 — with the draw anticipated on Monday November 7".
Corby Town say that they "have taken Callum Reynolds on a month's loan from Tamworth... as cover for centre-half Paul Malone, who is struggling with a groin injury. The 21-year-old joined Portsmouth as an Academy player after being released by Rushden & Diamonds as a youngster. Whilst at Pompey he enjoyed a loan spell with Luton Town and appeared five times for the Hatters. After leaving Fratton Park, he then signed for the Lambs via a spell with Basingstoke last season.
Manager Graham Drury told www.corbytownfc.co.uk, 'With Aynsley McDonald out for two months and Paul Malone injured we needed to bring in some cover as a priority. He hasn't got a lot of first-team experience at this level but he is certainly highly rated and did well at Basingstoke. We've taken him for a month and we'll see how that goes, he is a decent lad'".
Brian Flynn writes...
"Radio Robins will be providing a live internet commentary of the whole of Tuesday night's FA Youth Cup Third Round Qualifying game between Altrincham Youth and Darlington Youth. You can access Radio Robins on the internet here
Once you have accessed the Radio Robins webpage, choose from the list of player options (the icons are about half way down the screen) and open your preferred player. We are planning to have a pre-match interview with George Heslop, broadcasting from 7.15pm with the match commentary starting at 7.40pm. The commentary team is Paul Salt and Brian Flynn with the match summariser being Gareth Thomas.
We haven't got a Match Commentary sponsor at present, but sponsorship is available for £15.For further details, please email Brian Flynn".
Congratulations to both winners. The next draw will be when Altrincham have scored 40 goals, which hopefully will not be in the too distant future as they sit on 34 goals to date. We will be contacting all Goal Rush sponsors shortly to collect monies due up to the 30 goal mark".
Right: Mark Maddox is interviewed for Radio Robins by Brian Flynn at Stalybridge on Saturday. Mark and his fellow walkers completed the two-stage 19-mile walk from Altrincham to Stalybridge before the game at the Bower Fold.
'It’s never dull watching us, that’s for certain. It was a see-saw battle', Heeley said. 'That’s four league wins on the bounce now so there’s a bit of confidence in the camp but for long spells you would not have thought that be-cause we surrendered possession too easily. It was only in the last 20 to 25 minutes that Mike Symons, in particular, started turning their back four and running at them and causing all sorts of problems... I had a funny feeling in those last few minutes that we’d go on and nick it and it proved to be the case'".
Another happy manager is at Corby Town where "Steelmen boss Graham Drury has praised his players for their battling performance in Wales, as they overcame a tricky tie to travel back with three points. He told www.corbytownfc.co.uk 'This [Colwyn Bay] was a tough place to come, there’s no atmosphere and it’s quite a flat playing surface and it’s hard to raise yourself to that. I said to the lads at half-time you’ve got to find that spark yourselves and fair play to them, they did that... If we hadn’t have won today we could have slipped to 10th or 11th, but three points keeps us in the mix at the top of the table. I thought this was a real key point of the season today and obviously we’ve done well'".
At the opposite end of the happiness index Blyth Spartans tell us that "Cheltenham is probably more renowned for horse racing than for a long tradition of football. After seeing his team fail spectacularly against Gloucester City in Cheltenham on Saturday, Blyth Spartans’ manager Steve Cuggy is unlikely to follow the sport of kings’ new code on restricting the use of the whip this coming week.
Playing at Cheltenham Town’s Abbey Business Stadium, Gloucester beat the visitors by several lengths, running out easy 4-0 winners, after nosing ahead on 26 minutes. Cuggy was furious behind his usual calm demeanour. How did he sum up his side’s performance?
'Dreadful! Totally and utterly unacceptable', he said...
Cuggy commented, 'We gave them too much space on the edge of our box throughout and it’s something we clearly need to work on. We failed to go with their runners and paid the price...I’m definitely looking to improve the squad', said the defiant Blyth boss. 'I have a few things in the fire and I am fully aware that we need to improve drastically. I’m getting good support from the Board and I hope things will happen in the next few weeks... I will be looking for a big reaction to Saturday’s defeat. The players are embarrassed and if there is not a massive change I will be extremely disappointed'".
Stalybridge Celtic has a very fair report whixh says that "Celtic surged to the top of the league with a league topping five goals against pre-season bookies' favourites, Altrincham.
Losing by so many was harsh on Altrincham who were one of the best teams to have visited Bower Fold this season. They played football the right way through the ninety minutes and it was only sublime finishing that was the difference between the two teams...
Nicky Clee was causing all kinds of problems for the Celtic back line, seeing one cross roll across the face of goal with nobody there to turn it in, and firing in a sensation[al] cross that had the defence at sixes and sevens, but Damian Reeves couldn’t get on the end of it... Lloyd Ellams outstanding curling shot from the edge of the box crashed against the woodwork, the rebound coming to a completely unmarked Greg Wilkinson to nod into the back of the net; despite getting a palm on it, Coburn couldn’t keep it out.
Altrincham, if anything, redoubled their efforts and were back in the game immediately, Nicky Clee again firing in a wicked cross, this time Michael Twiss [actually it was Damian Reeves] got in front of Chris Lynch and headed past Jan Budtz to half the deficit...
The second half continued to be a great exhibition of non-league football, with Altrincham looking to grab the goal that would have set them on their way, Twiss saw his header off a corner tipped over by Budtz, and moments later his low drive scooped up by the Dane...Celtic knocked the stuffing out of their visitors with their fourth, Phil Marsh driving a cross low and hard for Jennings running into the box, or Brogan coming in behind him, only to see Robbie Williams grab the glory turning the ball into his own net past a despairing Coburn.
Still Altrincham continued to match Celtic’s passing game, with Clee and Reeves both getting half chances that they sent sailing wide of the mark, before Celtic made it five with a move that swept across the park from one side to the other with some delightful one-touch passing culminating in Brogan’s slide rule pass into Jennings’s path and Jenning gave Coburn no chance at all to send Celtic to the top of the league.
Celtic were content to sit on a four goal cushion and let Altrincham try and take the ball from them, which they managed a couple of times, but the Celtic defence held firm, the Robins’ best chances coming from set-pieces that they used to good effect, [even] if there was no end product...
At the end, Altrincham will look at the game and ask how they lost 5-1, but it was down to some outstanding attacking football from Celtic".
Once again, the press has got Alty's goal scorer wrong; Michael Twiss is credited with the goal on the BBC and in the NL Paper. So, once more, Damian Reeves has been deprived of the credit, as he was recently, too, when sub. keeper Adam Reid was credited with Damian's goal against Boston United.
Right: Alty defend their goal in the first half.
Right: 21 August 2004 - Chris Adams (#3) and Gary Talbot keep Celtic at bay in a 1-1 draw at The Bower Fold.
With Alty having risen to fifth by winning their last four games, second-placed Bridge could have chosen easier opponents as they seek an instant response to surrendering their 12-match unbeaten start in losing to Colwyn Bay last weekend.
But Harvey is adamant he’s happy for his young side to be facing the rampant Robins, saying, 'Yes, Altrincham are on a winning streak but at least I know this is a game my boys should have no problem getting themselves up for. “It’s always a test of character when you’ve just lost for the first time in a while and the fact we’re facing a club of Altrincham’s stature will hopefully help us focus'.
'Bridge will, however, be without Kristian Platt, who faces an absence of four to six weeks with a broken jaw, while Alty, who trail the Celts by 10 points, hope to have skipper Robbie Lawton back from injury.
Meanwhile, unbeaten pace-setters Hyde, who lead Stalybridge on goal difference but have played a game fewer than their Bower Fold neighbours, also face a big test at third-placed Guiseley, where they’ll be looking to bounce back from crashing out of both the FA Cup and Manchester Premier Cup in the last week. Droylsden, fresh from knocking the Tigers out of the Premier Cup, will attempt to clock up their fifth successive win in all competitions when they take on fellow mid-table outfit FC Halifax at the Butcher’s Arms".
Celtic are joint leaders with Tameside neighbours Hyde, and they also have a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday as they visit third-placed Guiseley. Sinnott’s men are still 10 points adrift of the top two but the Alty boss feels his players are rediscovering a winning mentality.
'The most pleasing thing for me is that each of the last three wins has been different', he said. 'It was nip-and-tuck for the first hour against Nuneaton then we managed to get our noses in front, then against Boston we were clinical, beating them 6-1. On Saturday we were pegged back twice and didn’t have the rhythm we had against Boston but it’s not going to be like that every game. We had to be patient before getting the winner, and that will do wonders for the players’ confidence'...
Vauxhall adopted a cynical approach in a bid to hold on for a point in the second half but had Dean Overson sent off in the 71st minute for a foul on Clee...
'Vauxhall asked us questions, and you can rush things when the opposition go down to 10 men late on but we didn’t panic', said Sinnott. 'We were still trying to play and even with 30 seconds left, it was a good move we engineered which resulted in the goal'.
Reeves was also forced off through injury, handing Jack Redshaw his debut after signing from Salford City... but Sinnott is hoping both Reeves and Clee will be fit to face Stalybridge.
'It’s a very important game for us and a great opportunity to close the gap', he added. 'We’ve overtaken quite a few teams in a short space of time. Now we just have to keep our heads down, take one game at a time, and try to gradually peg Stalybridge and Hyde back'".
Stalybridge Club Secretary Keith Trudgeon confirms that defender "Kristian [Platt] broke his jaw on Saturday in that last minute clash of heads. He had an operation to reset it yesterday and I'm sure you'll all join me me in wishing him all the best for a speedy recovery". Platt was due to be suspended in any case for the match against Altrincham.
Stalybridge Celtic add that "Altrincham have the best attack in the league, having scored one more goal than Celtic's thirty-two, mainly through the league's top scorer, Damien Reeves. The Robins are unbeaten at home, but on the road have lost three of their six matches... with just one win, a 6-1 demolition of Colwyn Bay in their last away match, a current league record. Altrincham also hold the league record for a home win, a 6-1 demolition of Boston at home. Altrincham have scored seventeen goals in their last four games, whilst conceding just three.
We last met them in the Cheshire Senior Cup in November 2008, a game they won 2-0. Indeed, in the last three competitive meetings (there was a friendly, Altrincham won in July 2008), we have not beaten them, with two losses and a draw. Our last victory over Altrincham was back in the NPL in January 2004, when Celtic won 1-0. Although Altrincham knocked us out of the Cheshire Senior Cup, their last league victory at Bower Fold was in March 1994, when they won 3-1. Since then, Celtic have won nine and drawn one at Bower Fold...
Celtic have the second best attack in the league, but have now crept into the top five defences as well... Saturday looks set to be a great game of football, with the league's two top scoring teams coming together, and the league's top two scorers facing off. The automated prediction algorithm is suggesting five goals, with a narrow 3-2 win for Celtic".
Stalybridge lost last time out at Colwyn Bay from where the North Wales Weekly News tells us that "Colwyn Bay boss Dave Challinor is looking for his side to show adaptability as he prepares for another big home game this Saturday against close rivals Corby.
'We had a game plan against Stalybridge which the players carried out brilliantly, as well as showing great desire and a will to win', he said... 'Stalybridge are a young, very fit side who pass the ball well and have tremendous movement and we had to plan our tactics to try and combat that. Corby, however, are a big, strong, physical side, who like to get the ball forward quickly, so our lads will have to take on board different instructions and employ a different game plan', he explained...
It is key match for both sides as they try to close on a fifth-placed Altrincham side who face a tough away game at Stalybridge. The joint league leaders will be keen to bounce back after losing their 12-match unbeaten league record at Llanelian Road last weekend and a win over Altrincham would give Colwyn Bay the chance to leapfrog them... Challinor hopes last Saturday’s success in ending Stalybridge’s 12-match unbeaten league record, will have finally cast off the shadow of their 6-1 home thumping by Altrincham last month.
That started a four-match winless run and the manager admitted, 'It has proved to be a massive blow to us in terms of confidence and we have struggled a bit since then. But it was fantastic result against a very good Stalybridge side who will certainly be up there challenging for the title at the end of the season - and hopefully that will finally get rid of any lingering memories of Altrincham and we can start to move on...
There is a huge difference in training full-time like Stalybridge do and getting together just a couple of nights a week, like us, and some of our lads were out on their feet in the second half'...
The return of Denson and Lea from injury made a huge difference, and keeper Chris Sanna made a couple of outstanding saves to keep his sixth clean sheet of the campaign... [Jon] Newby is likely to be out for two or three weeks with a hamstring problem, while the club will continue to monitor [Damien] Allen’s back injury this week... Chris King is also nursing a hamstring strain".
The Tameside Advertiser adds that "Celtic's 19-game unbeaten run in the Blue Square Bet North came to a sticky end after a rip-roaring game at the Red Lion Foods Stadium. Jim Harvey’s men were up against it inside the first minute when they conceded yet another soft goal... The second half was conducted almost entirely in the Seagulls’ half... An already bad afternoon for the Bower Boys got worse in the last minute when Kristian Platt fractured his jaw after an accidental clash of heads. Make no mistake Celtic will play worse than this and win, but they will have to show their character this weekend when they meet an Altrincham side who are on a real roll".
'There isn’t a youth team striker ready for the first team', he admitted. 'They won again the other day. They have good midfield players but the strikers are young lads who we can’t call on yet'.
Goalscorers have emerged from the youth ranks over the last few seasons. Curtis Main is currently with Boro, while Michael Smith was this summer sold to Charlton for an initial £75,000. So while the youth team - coached by Craig Liddle - is boosting the club, there is no short term fix at present".
FA Cup with Budweiser Fourth Qualifying round
If they are, any sense of relief may be shortlived - the Stoke City midfielder revealed that he is grooming a successor in the form of local prospect Ryan Shotton. Rest provided a cure for Delap's shoulder problem and allowed him to resume throw-in duties, but he admitted that 22-year-old Shotton could soon be ready to assume a mantle that makes facing Stoke such an unenviable task.
'I don't want to tell him too much or I might find myself out of the team,' he smiled, looking forward to the Europa League meeting with Maccabi Tel-Aviv at the Britannia Stadium. 'Shotts has come through the ranks and done really well. He is a very good player in his own right, but he has a long throw on him as well. It is good for the manager because he does like to have that. It ruffles teams. They are not keen on it, and it is very much part of what we are about.
'I remember in my first pre-season, he was only a young lad, but I played a couple of games with him, and he was throwing it a fair way then. He has played in most of the European games and even got on the scoresheet, so there is a lot more to his game than just throw-ins. He's already got the distance, and he's going to get better as he goes along. "
In the Manchester Premier Cup on Wednesday evening, both George Melling and Aaron Burns scored for Ashton United in a 2-1 win over Trafford, whilst New Mills beat Glossop North End 3-2 with two goals from Ashley Stott for New Mills.
The Football Webpages attendance figures for the BSB North show Alty as the fourth-best supported team in terms of average home gates...
Three clubs are averaging fewer than 300 spectators:
The same site's Form Guide places Altrincham top over the last six league matches.
From the Football Conference we learn that "Gari Rowntree has completed his comeback from almost a year out through injury to re-sign for Workington. The full-back damaged the cruciate ligament in his left knee during an innocuous challenge by team-mate Anthony Wright during training in November 2010. The 25-year-old, returned to training last month and gradually built up his fitness.
Workington boss Darren Edmondson said he was delighted to have Rowntree back after the left-back spent time at Lilleshall to aid his rehabilitation. He said, 'Having Gari in and around the squad is great for team morale'".
Elsewhere, "Corby Town have completed the signing of 24-year-old striker Sam Mullarkey from Stamford AFC. Mullarkey joined the Daniels in July 2011 from league rivals Lincoln United. Mullarkey has England Youth honours. His contract at Lincoln City wasn't renewed just over a year ago and he had a frustrating time last season whilst he re-launched his career. Originally on the books at Nottingham Forest, he has also turned out for Grantham Town."
Meanwhile, "Gloucester City have signed utilty player Charlie Reece on a month`s loan from Bristol Rovers. Primarily a central midfielder, Reece, 23, was originally with Aston Villa and was unfortunate not to have been offered a scholarship with them. On his release he joined Filton College and performed well in Bristol Rovers' youth team... He made his League debut for the club... in the game against Carlisle in December 2007. He spent a short loan spell with Solihull Moors in the 2007/08 season... To date he has made twenty-three appearances for Rovers."
And "Solihull Moors have signed vastly experienced striker Lee Morris. Morris, 31, has recently been player-coach at league rivals Eastwood Town. He has an illustrious career at several League clubs, including Sheffield United, Derby, Leicester, Yeovil and Burton Albion and last season was a regular starter for Kidderminster Harriers... Moors have also agreed to sign experienced midfielder Gavin Hurren".
BSB North tells us that "Corby Town have confirmed that summer-signing Aynsley McDonald faces two months on the treatment table with a foot injury... It was initially feared he had suffered a broken ankle. Subsequent scans have revealed he has not suffered a break but he will, nonetheless, face a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to the serious nature of the injury.
Commenting on McDonald's injury, Corby boss Graham Drury told the club's website, 'Aynsley has been put in plaster as a precaution, as the bone is weaker despite not breaking. He also sustained some serious ligament damage, and will require further treatment on that, so we expect that he will be out for up to 8 weeks'".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Experienced striker Marc McGregor is set to become the latest player from Worcester City to go out on loan. The 33-year-old, who is also part of the club’s coaching staff, will be given the chance to get game-time and improve his fitness lower down the non-League Pyramid... With a large squad and no reserve team, McGregor will be the fifth player to be farmed out in a bid to keep them fresh. Fellow striker Michael Taylor, left-back Shabir Khan and midfield duo Kyonn Evans and Josh Emery are currently all plying their trade at Stourport Swifts.
In the Telegraph & Argus we read that "Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick believes his players will not get a better opportunity to put last week’s frustrations behind them as they return to league action.. They face leaders Hyde FC at Nethermoor on Saturday...
Kittrick said, 'They are top and we are third so, on paper, it should be a very good game... There will be no inquests about last week - it was the FA Cup and that’s what that competition is all about. We were very disappointed to be beaten but you only get out what you put in so the defeat was deserved... Simon Baldry took a bad knock up there (Ashington) so is 50-50 and Danny Forest is struggling but he could make it. We will assess him after the final training session but Danny Ellis will be another couple of weeks', added Kittrick.
'I think the fact that we both went out of the cup last week (Hyde were beaten by Bradford Park Avenue) will make Saturday's game even better because it will be a test for both sides. They have had a bit of blip with two defeats in the week and we had a blip in the league, so it will be very interesting'".
"New Eastwood Town owner Steve Lynch has said his takeover of the club is now complete and that planning for the future can begin in earnest" reports the Eastwood Advertiser. "West Midlands businessman Lynch has taken complete control of the Coronation Park club following its sale by Jamie Brough earlier this month, and the process of appointing a new manager and building a new infrastructure at the club has now begun.
Lynch also owns Halesowen Town FC but says that to comply with FA rules he will be relinquishing that role in due course, though he will remain a supporter of the Southern League side...
He said: , 'It’s all happened pretty fast in the sense that I only really became aware of Eastwood’s situation when reading about the FA Cup tie with Evesham, though the takeover itself was a bit drawn out... To meet FA requirements I’ve stood down as chairman of Halesowen Town but will remain a fan of the club and divide my time as much as I can between Eastwood and there, along with the other businesses I currently run'.
Lynch says he has approached Badgers' life-president Paddy Farrell with an offer to become chairman, while club secretary Rachel Thornton has left the club by mutual consent along with her husband Steve who was involved in youth development at Coronation Park... Said Lynch, 'I’m not much of a ‘chairman-type’ person in terms of wearing suits and shaking hands with everyone and so on, so I’d rather stand back and leave that to someone who is more suitable for the role'.
Club captain Steve Istead has been put in charge of team affairs for the next three games while a new manager is sought... He said, 'We’ve had a large number of applicants, some of them big names, and with Steve Istead looking after the team for a few games it gives me extra time to make sure we appoint the right person for the right reasons. Chris Brindley was due to take over but it was our bad luck that his dream job, just two miles from his home and with a club he used to play for, came up and he opted to go to Chasetown instead...
I’m aware of the issues surrounding the ground and they will specifically be addressed in the next six to 12 months', he said. 'But the club needs rebuilding and stabilising, and also needs to rediscover its place in the community which I think has been an area that has suffered in recent months'”.
"With Altrincham's three goals last Saturday against Vauxhall Motors taking the total goals scored this season to 33, the team are now one third of their way towards 100 goal target set by our chairman Grahame Rowley for Goal Rush sponsors to qualify for the draw for a free season ticket for the 2012-13 Season.
Before that, however, the next two draws for the 20 goal and 30 goal benchmarks will take place live on Radio Robins during the half time break during the forthcoming away match at Stalybridge Celtic this Saturday.
Each draw will be for two complimentary tickets to watch a forthcoming Altrincham home match.
We will also be shortly contacting all those people who have agreed to be Goal Rush sponsors to collect the first payment for the first 30 goals scored to date.
If you can't make it to Stalybridge on Saturday, Radio Robins coverage starts at 2.50pm.
Saturday's commentators are Brian Flynn, Simon Ellis and Paul Salt".
Ten-man Vauxhall Motors' uncompromising approach looked like denying in-form Alty a fourth straight league win until summer signing Richman sparked frenzied celebrations with a close-range finish in the fifth and final minute of added time.
'We tried to keep playing the right way and did not panic, which was pleasing', said Alty boss Sinnott. 'The best approach, when time is running out, is always to keep playing your football, remain positive and hope it will be enough to open the door for you. Sure enough, Simon (right) was in the right place at the right time. I was pleased for him, after the stop-start season he's had with injury, and that was further evidence that he can make a favourable impression for us.
I said to Simon and Jack Redshaw after the game that the one thing you want from your subs is for them to make an impact, and they certainly did that. Jack looked very lively, and when you consider he'd had only one training session with us, it was some start. I believe there's a lot more to come from him. I bet our supporters wondered what to expect when he went on, because he's not exactly the tallest. Yet the first thing he did was get a shot in on target, and I think that sent out a message of what he's all about'.
Alty face a promotion battle at Stalybridge on Saturday, and Sinnott, who hopes Nicky Clee and Damian Reeves shake off knocks in time, is relishing the challenge.
'This is a big weekend coming up, when you consider Hyde take on Guiseley, as well as our game', he said. 'I can see comparisons between us and Stalybridge. We both like to get the ball down and play and we both have strikers who have been knocking in the goals. It is down to us to try and make sure we do our job better than they do theirs'".
Top scorers normally move up a league but a move down the divisions is reported by Chelmsford City, who "have bolstered their attacking firepower with the signing of highly-rated Bishop’s Stortford striker Michael Bakare, who has linked-up with Glenn Pennyfather’s team having netted nine times in 14 games for his Blue Square Bet North former team this season.
The tall, 24-year-old forward was subject to interest from other clubs but chose the Clarets, who are well positioned for an assault on promotion from the Conference South this season. He spent time with the now defunct Leyton in 2008/09 before joining Welling United the following year, and he also played in the same division with Thurrock last season".
Pitchero Non-League informs us that "Brett Renshaw may have joined FC Halifax Town on loan from top of the table Hyde FC but his aim is to make his switch to The Shay permanent... While leaving the Conference North leaders may not be the ideal for many players, he is in no doubt that he would like to become a permanent member of Neil Aspin’s squad.
'It is nearer for me to travel to and it’s a bigger club', he said. 'I am enjoying it. Winning always helps and hopefully I have made that bit of a difference with that bit of experience at the back'...
Renshaw had been a regular in the Hyde side until picking up an injury... 'I had a knee injury in the summer and it is just a matter of checking my fitness with games', he said. 'I had seven at Hyde but got another knock and that set me back but hopefully this will lead to a permanent transfer'...
He could be just the man Aspin has been looking for to steady a young rebuilt defence. 'Every other centre back here is under 23 and you do need a bit of experience in there', said Renshaw...
'He’s experienced, he’s a good leader and the only doubt is with his knee', said the Shay chief. 'It wasn’t a career threatening injury but he might have come back a little bit early. He felt he was ready to play, Hyde were a bit doubtful so I decided to bring him in and have a look at him'".
"Neuroblastoma is a rare and malignant cancer and in children who are over one year-old at diagnosis, it is very difficult to treat.
Leighton was three years old when he was diagnosed in June 2010. There are various stages of this cancer, scaled from 1-4. Leighton is stage 4 - high risk. The chances of survival range from 20% to 80% and Leighton has a 30% chance of survival.
This form of cancer is the most aggressive and quickest returning. There is only one chance at treating this type of cancer within the UK and relapse is then deemed terminal, with only 4-12 months survival.
The treatment for Neuroblastoma is in six stages -
The course of treatment can take up to 18 months to complete with the child spending most of that time in hospital. Leighton is currently up to stage six of the treatment at the RVI Newcastle.
We have started fundraising to reach £50,000 so we can send Leighton to Germany for further treatment which is not offered in the UK. Not only would the treatment increase Leighton's chance of survival to 50%, but he would also have stem cells removed so if there was a relapse, Leighton would have another chance for more treatment to fight Neuroblastoma.
Gates open at 12.30pm and kick off is 2pm. Admission is £5 per person.
The two team captains are Ryan Thomas (Jason in Coronation Street) and Danny Miller (Aaron in Emmerdale)
Others taking part include:- Mark Wright (TOWIE), Adam Thomas(Adam, Emmerdale), Jack Shepherd (David, Coronation Street), Chris Fountain(Tommy, Coronation Street), Kelvin Fletcher(Andy, Emmerdale), James Thornton(John, Emmerdale), Dean Gaffney(Robbie, Eastenders), Luke Tittenson(Daz, Emmerdale), Elliott Tittensor(Carl, Shameless), Callum Best, George Sampson (Britain's Got Talent), Will Rush (Josh, Waterloo Road), Jack McMullan (Finn, Waterloo Road), R.I.O. Tony Discipline (Tyler, Eastenders), Matt Lapinskas (Anthony, Eastenders), Philip Olivier (Holyoaks), Stuart Pilkington(Big Brother).
There will be other celebrities taking part who have yet to confirm their availability".
At kick-off, Celtic lie in second place, ten points ahead of fifth-placed Altrincham.
'I like Tony. We know each other from our time at Brunton Park and he's a great man to have around the training ground', Edmondson told the Times & Star. 'He's a top coach and he knows what he's talking about. I found out Tony was available last night and we talked a couple of things through and he jumped at the chance to come back to Workington... Tony will bring a new level of professionalism to the club'...
The Reds' tactician is also confident Elliott's arrival at Borough Park will be invaluable for his premier shot-stopper Aaran Taylor. 'Aaran hasn't had the dedicated coaching since Tony Caig left but that changes now that I've brought Tony in', continued Edmondson. 'He will be able to work on his game and help Aaran, who I believe is a quality young goalkeeper, improve... But we must remember we're losing an exceptional man in Viv Busby. Viv has been a rock for the lads. He's played a huge role in helping me and he'll be a massive loss'".
BSBN also reports that "Blyth Spartans have confirmed that striker John Alexander has left the club to join Ashington. The 26-year-old, who made his Spartans debut against AFC Telford United in August 2009, has scored six goals in 56 games for the Croft Park outfit.
'We've left John to Ashington to allow him play first team football', Spartans' boss Steve Cuggy told the club's official website. 'With the new signing of Richard Offiong and with Glen Taylor and Phil Bannister regaining fitness, this is something that we could no longer guarentee John at Croft Park, so the move makes sense'".
. According to the Halifax Courier "Halifax Town Supporters’ Society has been ordered to pay out more than £1,000 after admitting failing to submit its annual returns. Calderdale magistrates heard the Financial Services Authority had received no documents from the club since 2004 and wrote to it in April this year requesting the paperwork.
Board member Martin Reddy replied, saying he had not been aware of the society’s obligation to do so and agreed to submit it by May but only documents for between 2005 and 2008 were completed in time.
The prosecution said, 'It is not simply the case that they have missed one return. They have missed returns since 2004. The purpose is public accountability, so that the society’s records can be checked to see what’s going on and to make sure there is no misappropriation of any of funds... It seems the society has taken an attitude for a number of years now that’s very blasé'...
Chairman Roger Taylor wrote a letter of mitigation, apologising for the oversight. He explained the society had not been aware of its obligations because of membership restructuring and the fact the FSA had never issued reminders. He wrote... 'We’ve found it extremely difficult to piece together the information required'. Magistrates fined the society £640 and ordered it to pay £400 costs".
News of a departure from a BSBN club comes from Pitchero Non-League which confirms that "[Woodley] Sports announced the capture of ex-Bury defender, Ricky Anane. Anane joins the club from Droylsden, and is delighted with the move".
"Altrincham captain Robbie Lawton is pictured (right) being interviewed on Radio Robins during the half time interval of Saturday's dramatic 3-2 victory over Vauxhall Motors. Lawton is back in training and is hoping to be available for Saturday's trip to Stalybridge. Also in the picture are Saturday's commentary team, (from left to right: Tony Chetham, Brian Flynn, Jack Jolly). Thanks to longstanding Altrincham supporter, Barry Heaton, for providing this picture".
'It was an excellent performance by the boys', said Under-18s' boss, Craig Liddle. 'We played some excellent football at times and only thing missing again was our finishing'...
Darlo's league campaign continues at home to Notts County tomorrow afternoon - 2pm at Houghall College in Durham, which is a re-arranged fixture, followed by Bradford at home this Saturday, then Altrincham in the third qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup next Tuesday night".
Keith writes, "A well deserved victory by Altrincham, whose football was a joy to behold at times. Kelly Leigh opened the scoring on 28 mins with a penalty then made it two just before half time with a classy free-kick from outside the box. A third was added in the second half by Faye Howard to make it a comfortable end to the game.
However, just as we thought we might have our second clean sheet in a row, an AFC attack late on in the game saw them score a cracking consolation goal, leaving Nadine in the Altrincham goal no chance. All in all, a very enjoyable game played in the right spirit by both teams but a deserved victory nonetheless by Altrincham, who move up to joint second in the league... Up the Alty!"
Altrincham FC Ladies play their home games on Sundays at 2pm at Manor Farm, Ridgeway Road, Timperley but there is no game there till November 27th when there is a "derby" against Stockport County Yellows.
Right: Jack Redshaw made an impressive debut from the Alty bench last Saturday.
It was a battling performance by 10-man Motors in a game which looked as though they had done enough to earn a point but the match will be best remembered for a poor and inconsistent performance by the referee, Mr R Green...
Leighton McGivern looked lively throughout the game as he terrorised the Altrincham defence on numerous occasions... The Motormen got their equaliser on thirty five minutes when Holsgrove made progress on the left before playing in McGivern to his right and as he went one on one with Coburn, he was hauled down by the Altrincham keeper giving the referee no choice but to award a penalty. With Coburn being last man, in the laws of the game the keeper should have been sent off but the referee, for some reason, only produced a yellow card. After the melee had died down, McGivern stepped up and comfortably beat Coburn with a well-taken penalty for his seventh goal of the season.
After the interval, Altrincham looked more likely to score, especially after the introduction of lively substitute, Jack Redshaw, on sixty nine minutes. On seventy one minutes, the Motormen were reduced to 10 men when loanee Dean Overson was shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Nicky Clee".
He had a spell on loan with St Albans City, then in the Conference South, where he made eight appearances and scored two goals. In the close season he trialled with Scottish side Kilmarnock, who handed him a short-term deal".
The Lancaster Guardian reports on the match with FC Halifax Town. "Billed as the biggest game in recent Dolly Blue history this FA cup tie will be remembered for events off the pitch rather than on it. Ugly crowd trouble with just seven minutes on the clock forced the referee to take the players off for half an hour before a police presence and a number of fans leaving calmed the crowd.
A mixture of alcohol and idiocy combined to stir up a small minority of City’s biggest crowd this season – the men involved did not even register Halifax’s opening strike on three minutes. A stand-off on the terraces at the Marsh Road end of Giant Axe quickly escalated into a brawl, with one Halifax fan hospitalised as he fell and cut the back of his head on the stone terraces.
Halifax came to defend and counter and they did it brilliantly, stifling the Dolly Blues and after their early goal they never looked in trouble".
We learn from the News Post Leader that "Guiseley manager Steve Kittrick kept his promise in the wake of his side’s 1-0 defeat against Ashington in the FA Cup third qualifying round clash at Woodhorn Lane on Saturday. The West Yorkshire outfit’s boss said last week if his side went out of the competition, he would make no excuses...
He said, 'Ashington were a lot better first half but, whereas I didn’t think they had an opportunity after the break, we’ve had a lot of chances but have put nothing away. However, take nothing away from Ashington, who worked hard as a team... We played our normal game second half and tried to play football whereas I felt we played too deep first half... We are a footballing side and I’ve always preached about playing football and I will not stop doing that because it has got us where we are – third in the Conference North'".
A less sanguine manager is the subject of BSB North's report. "Hyde FC manager Gary Lowe slammed his side's performance in the FA Cup as they lost 1-0 to Bradford Park Avenue... Lowe told the club's official website, 'I thought we were absolutely shocking. Very few came out with any credit - only Dave Birch, Luca Havern and Adam Griffin did okay. For the rest of us it was a shocking day and a shocking performance and I really want to apologise to the fans as we have all let them and the football club down.
Today, we started in a bad manner. We had the players well prepared and they knew what to expect from Bradford and they also knew the importance of the game to the football club, but as a group we had so many bad performances and unfortunately we can't change it now. Maybe it's down to attitude - I don't know - but the players need to realise that if they do go out with that attitude then they will get beaten'".
Congratulations to Grahame Rowley, Mark Maddox and colleagues, who successfully completed the first leg of the fundraising walk for Mark Maddox and the football club on Sunday. Grahame writes, "The intrepid walkers set off at 11.08 and ended at the Bluebell Inn in Levenshulme at 2.10pm after 9.2 miles. Anyone wishing to sponsor the walkers can do so by contacting the club (0161 928-1045) or emailing me.
The second leg is next week, on Saturday, starting at 10am and hopefully finishing by 1pm at Bower Fold, Stalybridge".
Above: The intrepid walkers are pictured before and after their effort..
FA Cup 3rd Qual Rd Replay:
‘Alles Gut in Kaunas’!!!!
At the beginning of last month, six young Altrincham fans spent a week in Lithuania, the focal point of which was a Euro 2012 qualifying fixture between Lithuania and Liechtenstein in Kaunas. The root, of what may be perceived as behaviour of a somewhat bizarre nature, is a fascination that my son developed some years ago, with the double land-locked principality of Liechtenstein in general and its national football team in particular... after reading a book called ‘Stamping Grounds’.
The description of the book on Amazon reads as follows: ‘The author, Charlie Connelly, follows the Liechtenstein national football team through their defeat-strewn qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Drawn in a group with Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and mighty Spain, it was hard ever to see the principality's part-time players scoring even one goal, never mind adding to its meagre international points total. So, what motivates a nation of 30,000 people and 11 villages to keep plugging away despite the inevitability of defeat?
Travelling to all of Liechenstein's qualifying matches, Charlie Connelly examined what motivates a team proudly to take the field in the shirts of Liechtenstein despite the knowledge that they are, with notably few exceptions, in for a damn good hiding. Sampling the delights of the capital Vaduz, such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the State Art Museum and, er, the Postage Stamp Museum again, Connelly provides an evocative and witty account of the land where, every year on National Day, the sovereign invites the population into his garden for a glass of wine.’
Since that time, my son has somehow managed to spread the word about this set of international underdogs to some of his friends, who are Alty fans, and the result is ‘Liechtenstein Alty’. When the Liechtenstein F.A. found out about the trip, they promised to provide free tickets... a fantastic marketing ploy as it turned out... at a stroke providing a 600% increase in travelling fans.
Officially there was only one other Liechtenstein fan there in a crowd of around 4,500!!
As for the game itself, ‘Liechtenstein Alty’ roared their favourite national team to an excellent 0-0 draw, which helped to wipe away the heart-breaking nature of their last trip a year ago, when Scotland scored the winning goal in the seventh minute of injury time at Hampden Park.
The six lads who went on the trip are pictured, below, after picking up their tickets from the team hotel on the morning of the game. From left to right, they are Joe Barry, Niall Flynn, Declan Cavanagh, Pat McKenny, Tom McCaffrey and Niall Finnegan.
Liechtenstein ended their Euro 2012 campaign, last Saturday, with a 1-0 reverse in Vaduz against Scotland, Craig Mackail Smith going into the history books as the first player ever to score against both Liechtenstein and... Alty!
Auf Wiedersehen bis die nächste Zeit!
Right: Alty celebrate the winning goal.
There are 10 BSB North and 13 BSB South teams remaining in Monday's draw when the Blue Square Premier sides enter the competition.
FA Cup 3QR
If you cannot get to Altrincham v Vauxhall Motors, there are two ways to keep in touch with the game:
Brian Flynn writes: "Radio Robins, sponsored by Paradox-Computers.com will be broadcasting a full internet commentary of Saturday's game against Vauxhall Motors. The match commentary is sponsored by Premium Investigations who are an experienced company, based in Altrincham, offering a proactive and professional investigation service throughout the UK. You can find out more about Premium Investigations by visiting their website.
Saturday's commentators are Jack Jolly, Tony Chetham and Brian Flynn. Commentary begins at 2.50pm. You can listen to Radio Robins here".
Mike Garnett has kindly supplied data on past encounters between Altrincham and Vauxhall Motors.
This is Altrincham's first "return fixture" of the season having drawn 2-2 at Rivacre Park back in August, despite having led 2-0 deep into the second half. The match also brings Alty up against centre-back Paul Jones, who started this season at Moss Lane. In advance of the game, Alty have signed Jack Redshaw from Salford City to replace Astley Mulholland who opted to go to FC United of Manchester this week.
Altrincham FC-Mad reports that "Altrincham play host to Vauxhall Motors at Moss Lane on Saturday afternoon, The last time the two teams met at Altrincham was back in December 2004, over five years ago, with Altrincham running out comfortable 3-1 winners in a (Conference) North match.
Right: Robbie Lawton leads out Alty against his former club, Vauxhall Motors, on 23 August.
Recent encounters between the teams:
Altrincham are in decent form at home, having won four and drawn two of their last six games. In this time, Robins have rattled up an impressive 18 goals, and conceded 5. Vauxhall Motors have an average recent record on the road, picking up two good wins, but losing three, from the last six. The Motormen's have scored 13 goals in these games, but conceded an alarming 15. Altrincham lie just outside the playoff positions in the Blue Square (Conference) North, picking up 19 points from their 12 games so far. Vauxhall Motors are hovering perilously just above the relegation zone, with 11 points from 12 matches...
Robins's form is quite poor at the moment [?lost one in last seven league games?], but we see this as their ideal opportunity to register a morale-boosting win. Home Win".
With the strikers and midfielders both sharing in the goals, manager Dean Thomas was clearly pleased with what he saw at the weekend. He said, 'It was an entertaining and action-packed game with plenty of chances for both teams. But it was the quality of our finishing that won us the game and I was pleased that Danny (Newton) got two and you probably won’t see three better goals all season'...
The brace of wins has coincided with the latest influx of players into the Hinckley United changing room... Thomas said, 'We are making steady progression with the lads we have brought in - Jacob Joyce is learning his trade and it is a tough league for him but he is doing well and Charlie Raglan has been excellent at centre half. Richard Lavery has given us more physical strength in the middle and Sam Belcher has added to us with his range of passing'".
According to the Football Conference "Solihull Moors have added two players to their squad after impressing in a friendly with Mansfield Town this week. The best known of the duo is JJ Melligan, who started his career with Home Farm in Dublin before signing for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 1998... In July 2010, Melligan re-signed for Cheltenham but was released after his contract expired at the end of last season.
The other to join Moors can currently be seen on ITV's 'X-Factor' at the weekends! Mitchell McPike is a former Birmingham City player and brother of James, who has also represented England at youth level. He is a member of the boy band `The Risk` put together by the X-Factor judges".
York Press says that "Harrogate Town’s Adam Nowakowski will be out for three months following the ligament damage he suffered in the Wetherby Roaders match at Vauxhall Motors last month. The club are looking to raid neighbours Harrogate Railway and have put in a seven day approach for striker Paul Beesley. Town have no game tomorrow. "
Cambridge News says that "A week of hard work on the training pitch will have done Histon’s new-look back four the world of good, according to David Livermore. Injuries to himself, Remy Clerima and Dallas Moore have meant full-backs Ollie Cleaver, Zak Mills, Danny Fitzsimons and Harri Hawkins lining up alongside each other in the Stutes’ last two games.
And Livermore’s side have conceded three goals on each occasion, losing 3-1 at Corby in an FA Cup replay and trailing 3-0 at half time to Vauxhall Motors on Saturday before coming back to draw 3-3. 'I didn’t think we’d ever need to play four full-backs across the back four', said manager Livermore....
Histon supporters have been able to reflect on the draw with Vauxhall Motors by watching video highlights on the club’s official website this week. The boss is happy for the footage to be on the internet, despite questioning Stalybridge’s decision to upload highlights to their website earlier in the season. 'I’ve got no problem with our stuff being on there', said Livermore, whose team drew 1-1 at Boston in August.
'It gives the opposition, if they’re smart enough, an opportunity to have a look at it and try to get a bit of an idea of how we play. But you could see clips of their last game on the Altrincham website. There were four or five video clips on the Stalybridge website and they looked a really good passing team, but you’d never have thought that when they came here. They were quite direct. It can be useful, but it can also catch you out a bit'.
Tomorrow’s game will see Livermore lock horns with Boston’s joint-player manager Lee Canoville, with whom he was in the Arsenal youth ranks in the late 1990s... 'I thought Lee potentially could have had a better career than he’s had', said Livermore. 'That’s not me knocking him, I just thought he had the game to play at a higher level. Like me, he’s had the opportunity to get into management at a young age, and he’s taken it. He knows his stuff'".
Gloucester City report that "Left-back Jack ‘Vern’ Harris, who broke his leg in two places last year, picked up a muscle strain in the 3-2 defeat at Bishop’s Stortford last week and Mehew doesn’t expect him to be fighting fit until the new year. 'It’s a blow for Jack, but it’s probably one of the pitfalls of recovering from such a nasty injury that you pick up subsequent problems', he said... 'I don’t envisage him being around until Christmas'”.
Worcester News reports that "Worcester City insist St George’s Lane can host top-level Conference football if the club get promoted. Carl Heeley’s unfancied team have created a stir by hitting the play-off zone after 12 matches...[which] makes a refreshing change for fans after recent relegation scraps.
It has prompted debate as to whether City’s century-old ground is suitable for the Premier, particularly as it will be demolished for housing after June 2013. The Lane has a ‘B’ grading from the Football Conference, which is good enough for promotion, and officials hope that will be upheld at an inspection to be conducted soon. But, to retain any place in the higher league, it would need to be improved to an ‘A’ rating by March 31, 2013...
However, with the bulldozers set to move in at the Lane in 2013, it is unlikely City would fork out for major improvements beyond maintaining their existing grade. Vice-chairman Colin Layland said, 'If we got promoted at the end of this season, we have a ground for 12 months'.
But the issue of what happens post-Lane is unclear with revisions for the proposed Nunnery Way move not expected to be seen by Worcester City Council until the end of this year... City reckon they can construct a grade ‘B’ ground within their budget — not much over £1.5million — by using modular materials, otherwise known as prefabricated buildings".
This is Nottingham says that "Steve Lynch, poised to become Eastwood Town's new owner this lunchtime, will not sacrifice the club's long-term future just to retain their Blue Square bet North status. Businessman Lynch, who sold his coach company and now runs a series of social clubs, will become the Badgers' sole shareholder.
He had already been handed 50 per cent of his shares by former joint owner Jamie Brough, who quit last week. And it is understood he has acquired the other 50 per cent after the attempted transfer of those shares to a third party was legally declared void. Lynch's first job will be to appoint a new manager 'over the next few days'...
'With the right manager, there is no reason why we can't stay where we are', said Lynch. 'Money is not everything, you do not need the biggest budget to succeed. But I don't think it's the end of the world if we do end up going down and I am not going to promise we will stay up or win the league. We need to rebuild, get back to basics and become self-sufficient. Throwing money at it is not the answer. It is better to have a (lower level) club than no club at all. It might not be a stance that everyone agrees with, but at least I'm telling them straight, at the start, where I stand'.
Lynch, already chairman at Halesowen Town, insists he is not at Eastwood trying to make a profit and is instead excited by the challenge. He said, 'The fact is you can't make money from this. It doesn't happen. If you finish a season with all the players and bills being paid and your bank balance reads zero, then that is success. I'm a bit of a sadist and I like the idea of turning clubs around. It's not going to be easy, but Eastwood is not in anything like the mess Halesowen was'...
Lynch is open-minded about his new manager. He said, 'They can be proven at this level and been out of the game for a while, or someone who has done well at lower level but they will have to be prepared to wheel and deal'. Lynch says it is vital if Eastwood are to prosper the fans who boycotted games while Brough was in charge must now come back. 'The average before the troubles was about 350 but it went down a lot and we are going to need those extra people if we aren't going to cut the budget'. he added".
A report from This is Lincs says that "Boston United management duo Lee Canoville and Jason Lee have assured the club they have no intention of applying for the vacant manager's spot at bitter rivals Lincoln City... Canoville insisted there was plenty of work to be implemented at York Street.
'Jason and I haven't really looked at that as a possibility', revealed Canoville. ,We have enough work to be getting on with here at Boston United. We have only been here a little while. We want to take this club places and we are happy where we are'... United suffered a demoralising 6-1 hammering at Altrincham last week – their heaviest defeat in almost five years...
'I am only just getting over the Altrincham result to be honest', admitted Canoville. 'We expect to get a reaction tomorrow. We were embarrassed and it was horrible to watch but I fancy us to do well at Histon... We will be ready to get into them early on their own pitch. First and foremost the defence has to stand up and be counted because the display against Altrincham was one of the worst I've seen at this club'... The Pilgrims's backline will be greatly boosted by the return of experienced duo Alan White and Canoville himself".
Over in the Principality, "Management duo Dave Challinor and Colin Woodthorpe are facing their most challenging time at Colwyn Bay as they prepare for the visit of joint runaway leaders Stalybridge Celtic" reports the North Wales Weekly News. "The Seagulls, on a bad run of four games without a win and four defeats in their last seven, face a Stalybridge side still unbeaten in the league and boasting the best scoring record in the division. In-form Celtic strikers Phil Marsh and Connor Jennings have already netted over 20 goals between them...
Things are not about to get any easier for the Bay as their next six games include fixtures against both the joint leaders, fourth-placed Gainsborough, and long away trips to Boston United and Blyth Spartans. Challinor has been hit hard by injuries to key players in recent weeks, while midfielder Sean Doherty has left to take up an academy scouting post with Chelsea. The manager missed out on two possible new signings last week when his targets decided to join other clubs and he was due to watch a couple more players on Tuesday night.
But in the meantime, although he has brought in defender Matty Hughes on a month’s loan from Fleetwood, he is having to work with limited resources".
Pitchero Non-League reports that "High-flyers Hyde FC have added Josh Brizell and Will Jones to their squad. Brizell is a young defender who joins the Tigers on loan from Rochdale. He played regularly in the youth and reserve teams and captained both. He was included in the first-team squad for the Carling Cup first round game at Sheffield Wednesday in August 2009, making his senior debut when he came off the bench for the final 17 minutes. He turned professional last summer.
Goalkeeper Jones, 20, is a former Manchester University student with experience at Corby Town, Stalybridge Celtic, Stamford and FC United of Manchester".
The Groundhopper says, after visiting Hyde FC for a match report last week, "We’ve one more trip up here this season. Hopefully it will be to Altrincham’s Moss Lane".
After trials with Blackpool, he joined Rochdale, for whom he made a first-team debut as a used substitute in League One in August 2010. But in January 2011, he left Spotland by mutual agreement as his first-team appearances were limited to two games.
Jack signed for Salford City in March, 2011, and scored almost as many goals as he made appearances for the rest of the season. His father and brother had also been Salford City players.
Welcome to Moss Lane!
Anyone who fancies the challenge of getting two games in on the Saturday... may find the following post codes useful:
Obviously, with ties in the League Challenge Cup going to extra time if the sides are tied after 90 minutes, there’s an opportunity to get more football than you’d expect for a normal game"
According to the Times & Star "Workington Reds' boss Darren Edmondson has produced a shortlist of talent to replace his departing No. 2, Viv Busby – but warned they will not be easy boots to fill. Busby plans to retire after next week’s trip to Boston United...
'I have made some phone calls to one or two people about the position, local and further afield', Edmondson said. 'I’ve written a shortlist. We have a couple of weeks so there’s no immediate rush'...
Edmondson last week described him [Busby] as a 'father figure'... The manager continued, 'Man-managing footballers is what he’s really good at. I know he’s distraught about leaving. He’s feeling bad about it, the situation we are in... It is nothing to do with football. He’s going to retire in Spain'.
With Reds struggling in the league, Edmondson is looking to draft in fresh faces over the next few weeks... Edmondson will again be without the suspended Jonny Wright at Boston. 'It’s a big blow as Jonny is the spearhead of our attack and we play a lot through him. We are looking for the next Jonny Wright if we can, but they are hard to come by. No one wants to let strikers go'".
The Hinckley Times tells us that "The Knitters’ true leader on the pitch has returned. Richard Lavery has been away from the Greene King Stadium for 16 months plying his trade with Corby Town and Nuneaton Town...
A host of clubs were after the 34-year-old’s signature but Dean Thomas was able to convince the player that returning to Hinckley would be best for everyone. Lavery said, 'I originally left during the financial problems although I didn’t want to have to leave the club. I went to Corby with a few of the lads... I am 34 now and I didn’t want to be going up and down the motorway a few times a week by myself. Nuneaton came in and I started the first eight games but then they bought in a new midfielder and I didn’t want to be just sitting on the bench getting paid, I wanted to be playing week in, week out. I had a few options of clubs to go to but Hinckley was the best for me to come to'.
The tough-tackling midfielder wasted no time in making an impression back in Knitters colours as he helped them to a 3-1 victory over Matlock Town in the FA Cup second preliminary round... Lavery said, 'I am going to have to get used to us having such a young squad. I thought they had a young squad at Nuneaton but, here, it is even younger - after me I think the next oldest is about 25. Times seem to have changed from when I was a young lad playing as there was always older lads around, but now it seems to be the other way around... Dean told me he wants to move us up to being a mid-table side, but I also want to see us move up further than that and really be in the top half. That is definitely possible as I have been in this league for 10 years now and this is definitely the weakest the league has ever been'".
From Chronicle Live we learn that "Blyth Spartans’ woes continued when they slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Worcester City. Steve Cuggy’s men improved after a dismal first-half display that saw the visitors two up having breached the Blyth defence after just 90 seconds...
The Spartans should be boosted by the return of captain Graeme Armstrong and new signing Richard Offiong at another struggling side, Whitby Town, in the FA Cup on Saturday. Offiong’s career has stalled in the last two years after he made his mark in Scotland with Hamilton Academical and he will hope to get back on track at Croft Park... Blyth could be interested in former Darlington and Lincoln City midfielder Clark Keltie while former player Nicky Deverdics is back in the country after a spell in Iceland".
Stalybridge Celtic have a player suspended when they play Altrincham as the FA confirms that defender Kristian Platt is suspended from 22/10/2011 "until the Club have completed 1 first team match, for 5 cautions".
"Altrincham shrugged off an FA Cup hangover and a virus sweeping through the club to record their second 6-1 Blue Square North win of the season. Alty might have been the ones knocked for six, after being hit by a sickness bug, but no-one wanted to miss out on making amends for the Cup defeat by Witton Albion.
Damian Reeves led the response with a hat-trick that made him joint top scorer outside the Football League, on 13 goals, and left Boston United feeling distinctly groggy.
'What a difference seven days can make,' beamed delighted boss Lee Sinnott. 'It was our best performance of the season, and I was so pleased for the players, the board and particularly the supporters.
'There were some concerns, because four players (Ryan Brown, Nicky Clee, Chris Lynch and Brian Summerskill) were feeling the effects of the bug that was going round. But, after insisting they wanted to play, we got an hour out of Nicky and the full 90 minutes from Ryan.
'It was a great effort, the way they stuck at it, and I thought it epitomised the spirit in the squad.
'I met the supporters for a Q&A after the game and told them there were a couple of phases of play where I felt like I was in amongst them, rather than by the dug-out. I was just standing there thoroughly enjoying what I was watching.
'That was very gratifying for myself and the coaching staff. The way we moved the ball around with one or two touch passes was very much what we are looking to do with this team.
'Damian has a history of scoring goals and is playing with bags of confidence. I had a chat with him after the Solihull game and suggested he might try and be a bit more decisive about executing chances. Fair play to him, he has taken it on board. He has a real finisher's knack and has looked more on his toes.'
Striker Astley Mullholland marked his last Alty appearance with a goal before joining FC United of Manchester in the hope of more game time.
'I'm delighted Astley was able to sign off with a goal, because his attitude has been first-class throughout,' added Sinnott. 'He wants regular football but hasn't been able to get it here, because the other boys have been doing so well. You can't fault that as a motive for moving on, and he goes with our best wishes'".
"The Monthly Draw, for TASC Members, took place in the Noel White Suite after Saturday's Question and Answers session with Lee Sinnott and Neil Tolson. The winners are:-
Congratulations to each of the three winners.
In Tuesday's games, three ex-Alty Youth graduates were on the mark. Ben Deegna scored as FCUM defeated Frickley 3-1; Astley Mulholland was a sub. FCUM say "The Reds gave a debut to new signing, left winger Astley Mulholland who showed glimpses of what he could bring to the team for the last 30 minutes or so". After shipping five on Saturday, Ashton United conceded six on Tuesday, losing 6-3 at North Ferriby United. But Sam Madeley did net for Ashton.
In the FA Trophy, Danny Heffernan scored for Salford City as they won 2-1 at Clitheroe. And a man who played just once for Alty's first team, Steve Foster, scored for Chorley.
In the BSB Premier, James Smith saw red for Southport.
According to BSB North, "Workington have parted ways with Kevin Gall with the striker opting to take up a contract with rivals Guiseley. The former Carlisle United and Yeovil Town man ends a uneventful spell at Borough Park having played just 314 minutes as well as failing to find the back of the net in four outings.
'Kevin came here in a bid to help us out and I thank him for the work he's put in', Reds' boss Darren Edmondson told the Times & Star. 'Guiseley came in for him and offered a contract, something we couldn't and he's decided it's best for his future that he has some stability. You cannot fault a man for wanting that. He's also been able to move closer to his family and he'll continue to thrive in this league. Kevin's been nothing but fair with us and we have to be fair with him. He's decided he wants to move so there's very little we can do but offer him our best wishes. He made the effort in every game but was unlucky not to score some goals."
He added, 'We now must continue the search for a replacement. Calls have already been put to Football League clubs and I'm waiting to hear back from a number of coaches about the availability of some strikers. Research has been done about the lads we're looking at and if we can lure one or two to Workington then we'll have done a good job'".
Gall was a summer 2011 trialist at Moss Lane.
"Boston United’s squad were forced to re-live their Altrincham horror show last night" reports the Boston Standard. "Managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville decided to swap training for the TV and make the red-faced Pilgrims watch exactly what went wrong as they were thrashed 6-1 at Moss Lane...
'We’re going to watch the video on Tuesday (last night)', said Canoville who, along with the 70-plus travelling fans, was a frustrated observer on the sidelines. 'They’ll have to sit through what we had to sit through. Maybe then they can see for themselves some of the things which just aren’t good enough'.
The 6-1 drubbing by the Robins compounded a shocking week for United, who were dumped out of the FA Cup in a midweek replay at lowly Kidsgrove Athletic. It was too much to watch for Ben Fairclough on Saturday as he covered his face with his shirt as goal number six went in. But he was among the squad forced to watch again last night".
In the North Wales Pioneer is news that "Luckless Colwyn Bay suffered a deja-vu defeat at the weekend, with another 3-1 defeat to Hinkley United mirroring last week’s FA Cup defeat. Jon Newby put the Seagulls ahead from the penalty spot, but defensive lapses and a failure to finish chances saw the hosts take the points, with Damien Allen also having an effort ruled out.
Manager Dave Challinor said he was disappointed with the result, and hoped lessons would be learned from a poor run of results that started with the 6-1 defeat at home to Altrincham. 'It was obviously disappointing, and what’s the most disappointing is that it’s almost a carbon copy of last week’s game', he said. 'Things just are not going for us at the minute. We went ahead through the penalty and I believe the lad should have been sent off, which obviously makes it a different game. We then wasted two good chances, and ultimately we’ve payed[!]for it.” I think we’re still affected by the Altrincham game, which even their manager said was never a 6-1 defeat. We’re all still learning at this level'.
Despite the defeat, Challinor refused to be downhearted, and said he was relishing the opportunity to test his mettle against some of the league’s leading lights over the coming weeks. 'I feel a result is just around the corner, and we’ve got a great run of games against some of the clubs with the biggest budgets. As a player these are the games you want to be playing in, and certainly as a manager I can’t wait'. Ahead of this weekend’s match at home to Stalybridge, the Bay have on-going injury doubts over fullbacks Mike Lea and Luke Denson, as well as captain Damien Allen and Jon Newby, who picked up back and hamstring strains at the weekend".
Histon came out with guns blazing for the second-half... After the game, Vauxhall manager Anthony Wright said, 'I've got to take the positives following last Tuesday’s defeat, so I'm happy with an away point but we need to start learning how to protect a lead'.
Wright has made changes to his squad following last week's shock defeat in the FA Cup by Ashington. Ex-Vauxhall captain Mattie Burke returns to the club after signing from Salford City. The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful season at Vauxhall in 2008/09 and was voted players' player of the year before joining Alfreton Town. Former winger John Lawless has also returned to the Motormen after spells with Colwyn Bay, Marine, Leigh Genesis, Burscough, Prescot Cables and a number of other local clubs...
Also joining is 18-year-old defender Dean Overson, who has signed on loan from Bradford City. He joined the Bantams in August on a two-year deal following his departure from Burnley... Heading for the exit door at Rivacre Park are Liam Nethercote, Sean Williams and Kevin Grocott. Vauxhall :Tynan, Overson, Dames, Hannigan, Jones, Fearnehough (Lawless 83), Mahon, Mannix, McGivern, Wilson, Burke. Subs not used: Taylor, Spotswood, Bennett, Wright."
This is Nottingham says that "The backroom turmoil at Eastwood Town is having serious knock-on effects on the pitch according to stand-in player-manager Steve Istead – and it showed in their defeat at FC Halifax... They failed to battle back to halt a run of nine straight defeats. Owner, and manager, Jamie Brough walked away from Coronation Park on Thursday, along with player-coach Lee Morris and goalkeeper coach Jason Maguire, leaving Town's preparations in tatters.
Captain Istead stepped in to take training on Friday and named himself as a substitute in order to oversee Saturday's match, and the 25-year-old insists he has never had any intention of walking away. 'I've never thought about leaving, I'm not that type of lad', said Istead. 'We've not been good enough, but when you have got stuff like this going on the boys have never had a chance to settle down and play. For young kids, that's the last thing you need. The amount of rumours going around is frightening I just wish there was more transparency. As far as I know we are getting taken over, but it's been said before. We're just a set of lads and we keep getting told we're getting taken over. I've been told that but it never actually happens'.
Former owner Brough announced before his departure that a consortium led by Staffordshire businessman Steve Lynch are set to take over the club, who now lie 19th in the league table. Meanwhile Istead revealed he may be in the hot-seat for 'a couple of weeks', while the new chairman sorts the management situation, but he admits he is as much in the dark as the Badgers faithful.
'Jamie [Brough] asked me, being the captain and one of the senior members of the squad, to take training on Thursday so I did', added Istead. 'Jamie was not just the manager, but the owner. He organised everything so it's not your usual managerial duties. There's no other managerial staff so I decided to go down and sort it out myself and get the players sorted'".
Later "Steve Lynch today told the Post he expects to complete a takeover of Eastwood Town by Thursday... Brough has also handed over his 50 per cent stake in the club to Lynch and the Halesowen Town chairman is now keen to acquire outright control. He is currently on holiday in Ireland but said, 'It's my intention to get a deal sorted quickly. I have put a lot of time and effort into sorting things out at Halesowen and I intend to do the same here'.
Former Stafford boss Chris Brindley was set to be named manager only to pull out to take another job... Lynch is determined to make an appointment before the Badgers' next game at home to Histon on October 22".
A commentary on what is going on comes from 200%, which says "Something may or may not be going on at Eastwood Town Football Club but it’s increasingly difficult to make any sense of the situation... Last Thursday’s announcement from former Nottingham Forest defender Nigel Jemson that he is NOT involved in a takeover follows a similar (initial) rebuff from Halesowen investor Steve Lynch after it was reported in the local press (and briefly on the club’s official website) that he had become the majority shareholder at Eastwood....
There are plenty of known unknowns too, including... How Lynch, if he indeed owns the club (Halesowen), can get away with owning/being financially involved two football clubs given the stringent FA rules?... Rewind back to April and the Badgers were in a play-off position, on a 19 game unbeaten run. Then the Conference bigwigs kindly told them sorry, no chance of you lot playing in the play-offs because you haven’t got the ground grading. The small print, as is the case so often with these situations, was the key. Coronation Park has the correct number of seats for the league (B grading), but they are spread across three stands and not two, so therefore the A grading needed for the league above was not met. It’s probably not helpful to point out that the average gate at Coronation Park is below the number of seats anyway, that’s not really the point.
Anyway Eastwood appealed and lost, and the then chairman Tony Minnis and director Rob Young put the club up for sale... The club was to be sold for a nominal fee of £1 with zero debt, a rarity for a non-league club in this day and age. And so Eastwood Town Football Club was sold on June 1 this year and the company Eastwood Town FC Ltd registered to Jamie Brough, Rachel Thornton and Stephen Thornton. The Thorntons were removed from the director’s list at the beginning of September...
Brough brought in former Forest, Huddersfield Town and more recently Forest Green Rovers defender Craig Armstrong as his co-manager... Armstrong has not spoken publicly about his reasons for leaving the club".
According to BSB North, "Guiseley AFC have confirmed the return of forward Alex Davidson to former club North Ferriby United. The pacy striker joined the Lions from North Ferriby in the summer transfer window but an early-season injury hampered his first-team involvement".
From the Cambridge News, we learn that "Gus Poyet, Dario Gradi, Brian Clough and growing up watching Spurs – a lot of elements have helped shape David Livermore’s vision for success at Histon. The Stutes manager hit out at a minority of supporters who booed his side during Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Vauxhall Motors and threatened to walk away from the club if his passing style is not backed. But Livermore has received the backing of fans on the club’s messageboard since the match, and he has big plans for the future.
'I’m a Tottenham supporter, so I’ve been brought up to play football', he said... 'I just believe there’s a certain way the game should be played, and some managers don’t have the bravery to stick to that. I learned that from Gus Poyet. He had a way that he wanted to play and he stuck to his guns, and you can see what Brighton are doing now. They’re playing great football... I think we can almost be a mini Crewe Alexandra – a club that always plays football and produces players to hopefully go on to bigger and better things...
We are a young team and results are obviously important, but I don’t think they’re the most important thing', said Livermore. 'The most important thing is that the football club is here and still able to operate at a decent level. We’ve learned lessons from last time and can’t put the club at risk again'"
Bottom clubSolihull Moors report that "Robbie Thompson-Brown has returned to Kidderminster Harriers... He has been called back to Aggborough following an injury crisis".
It has taken since the end of September but Blyth Spartans can finally announce that "Richard Offiong’s International Clearance was granted this morning by the Football Federation of Australia. This means that the former Hamilton striker can now be officially registered with Blyth Spartans and will be available for selection for this weekend’s FA Cup match away to Whitby Town...
Spartans' Assistant Manager, Gavin Fell, commented 'We’re really pleased that we’ve finally been able to register Richard for the club, hopefully this will give everyone a boost... We’ve got high hopes for the "Armstrong and Offiong" frontline and feel it is a striking combination to be feared'".
Sponsored Walk to Stalybridge Celtic
Altrincham Football Club are organising a Sponsored Walk to Stalybridge Celtic with half the proceeds going to the Mark Maddox Testimonial Fund. Due to the distance it has been decided to do the walk in two legs - 8 miles on Sunday 16th October and the remaining 9 miles on the day of the game - Saturday 22nd October. If anyone is interested in taking part in one/both legs of the walk, sponsorship forms can be obtained from the club offices during the week or from the club shop on matchdays. They can also be emailed out by request here.
Thank you in advance for your support
Also, on that day, we will be showing Swansea City v Manchester United in the bar on satellite TV, k.o. 5.30pm".
So, make a day of it at Moss Lane!
Right: 30 August 2004 - Alty's Peter Band (yellow no.4) in action in the Hinckley 2 Altrincham 1 game.
A beaming Sinnott said, 'The lads knew they’d let themselves and the club down with their performance in the Cup, so for them to have responded by scoring six against a team who had previously conceded just nine in eleven games was magnificent. We’re still a work in progress, but I think the fact we’ve now taken 13 points from our last six games compared to just six from our first half-dozen demonstrates we’re heading in the right direction'”.
From the BBC we learn that "Boston United joint-boss Lee Canoville blasted his side's defending following their 6-1 defeat by Altrincham... as the Pilgrims fell to their heaviest defeat since February 2007. 'To let in six goals at any level is not good enough', Canoville told BBC Lincolnshire. 'I'm devastated that we defended so badly as a team. We looked like we didn't know what we were doing and it was embarrassing'.
Canoville admitted that the scoreline could have been worse, were it not for the efforts of Pilgrims' goalkeeper Paul Bastock. 'Bazza's pulled off some good saves out there', he said. 'It could have been more, which would have been even more embarrassing, and we've got a lot of work to do to put it right'"
In similar vein, BSB North reports that "Boston United striker Marc Newsham has admitted his embarrassment following his side's 6-1 defeat at the hands of Altrincham on Saturday...
Newsham told This is Lincolnshire, 'It was embarrassing. It just wasn't good enough from start to finish and it has ruined my weekend. The dressing room was worse than a morgue after the game and I've never quite seen anything like that before. It was horrible. It made my weekend "minging". The gaffers (joint-managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville) basically told us it wasn't good enough and that we need to improve. We know they are good managers and we respect what they say. To be honest, we went into the game on the back of two bad performances in the FA Cup against Kidsgrove and we were determined to put that right. We went into the game confident we could do that but it just didn't happen... There is no hiding from a performance like this and we have to work as hard as we can and respond'".
According to the Boston Standard, "Tom Ward says that experience is the key to him fulfilling his potential. But the 21-year-old - who made the step up from Boston United’s reserves to the Blue Square Bet North this season - will have to wait for more of that to come as he looks to be sidelined for a number of weeks with an ankle injury.
Soft tissue damage sustained blocking the ball on Saturday has left his progress sidelined... He said, 'To be honest, I feel a lot more confident each week I play. The people I’ve got around me make sure I learn something new every week'... Goalkeeper Paul Bastock and fellow central defender Kevin Austin may both have given Hurst [?Ward] a few verbal bashings during pre-season, although the veterans will claim it is for the youngster’s benefit".
BSB North says that "Gainsborough Trinity boss Steve Housham was disappointed to have lost 2-1 to Harrogate Town on Saturday but refused to lay into his players. Jamie Yates had equalised for Trinity after [ex-Alty man] Alex Meechan's opener but former player Richard Pell snuck in with 14 minutes of the match remaining to claim all three points for the Sulphurites...
He told This is Lincolnshire, 'To lose the game late in the day was a bitter pill to swallow. But I'm not going to beat up the players and they shouldn't beat themselves up about it either. The spirit and endeavour were both there and we dominated for spells against a decent side... I don't want to take anything away from Harrogate, but they didn't do anything special to score their goals. We gave them two goals... We have had a flying start to the campaign but we can't win every game'".
Meanwhile, NL Daily says that "Harrogate Town have revealed that they have put in a seven-day approach for striker Paul Beesley of Harrogate Railway Athletic. Beesley is a player who will hold up the ball well and bring other players into the game... It is unclear as yet whether Town stand a chance of signing the player, or if Beesley will choose to remain at Harrogate Railway".
However, one move which has gone through is that "Worksop Town have signed left-back Owain Warlow on loan for a month from Gainsborough Trinity".
In addition Alty played on 23.3.09 on a neutral ground (Witton) in the CSC Final to make it a sequence of five successive matches without a visit to an away team's ground.
Another four-match home sequence produced four defeats in 2007!
Alty did win four successive home league games in September/October 2008, all without conceding a goal, but the sequence was interrupted by two away games. If Alty beat Vauxhall Motors they will match that sequence of four successive home league wins in a sequence of six fixtures (i.e. two matches were away).
Lee Sinnott will be interviewed live on the Non League Show tonight. The show is broadcast on BBC Radio London (94.9FM) and can also be accessed via internet. The show starts at 9.00pm and is hosted by Caroline Barker. Lee's interview is scheduled to take place around 9.20pm.
Before Saturday's game, Alty goalkeeper Stuart Coburn
was pictured with the five winners of goalkeeping gloves
in the recent competition organised by Alty kit supplier and
goalkeeping coach, Ian Senior of SK Kits.
They are Ben (U-11 Knights), Kyle U-9 Cyclones)
Callum (U-9 Cyclones), Daniel (U-12 Panthers)
and Sam (U-9 Whirlwinds).
And Howard Watts has kindly furnished us with his Through the Years data for next Saturday, 15 October.
This will be Altrincham's first "return fixture" of the season having drawn 2-2 at Rivacre Park back in August, despite having led 2-0 deep into the second half. The match also brings Alty up against centre-back Paul Jones, who started this season at Moss Lane.
Vauxhall Motors report on their draw at Histon... "Motors held on for a hard fought point at The Glass World Stadium however they should have left with all three after being 3-0 up at half-time. Vauxhall manager Anthony Wright made a number of changes which included debuts for new signings Mattie Burke, John Lawless and on-loan Dean Overson. However, it was the same old story for Motors as they failed to hold onto a comfortable lead in the final forty five minutes...
Histon came out all guns blazing for the second half... Histon nearly won it towards the end but Lewis Taaffe was denied by Vauxhall keeper Scott Tynan and then by the crossbar late on. After the game, Vauxhall manager Anthony Wright said ‘we should have had it won but it’s a mad game. To be fair to Histon they could have won the game as we were hanging on at the end’. He added ‘I’ve got to take the positives following last Tuesday’s defeat so i’m happy with an away point but we need to start learning how to protect a lead'.
Vauxhall:Tynan, Overson, Dames, Hannigan, Jones, Fearnehough (Lawless 83), Mahon, Mannix, McGivern, Wilson, Burke. Subs not used: Taylor, Spotswood, Bennett, Wright".
As can be seen, the Motors are somewhat changed from when we met in August. Only Tynan, Hannigan, Dames, Mahon, Mannix, McGivern and Wilson started that game and also began last Saturday's match.
When he became Alty manager, Lee Sinnott said that one of his priorities was "to put the smile back on people's faces" after last season's relegation. Here is evidence that he did so on Saturday against Boston United as we see, left, Damian Reeves (after his second goal), and Astley Mulholland (after Alty's sixth) each celebrating a goal.
There is video of Alty's goals on the excellent Alty TV.
And Boston United have two videos of their own. The Pilgrims state, "Boston United full-back Jordan Fairclough was distraught after seeing the Pilgrims thrashed 6-1 by rampant Altrincham on Saturday. Fairclough joined the bufc.co.uk cameras to reflect on an afternoon to forget in Greater Manchester. Fairclough, whose elder cousin Ben made his full league debut for the Pilgrims at Moss Lane, was shocked to see United concede six goals. The former Nottingham Forest trainee admitted that he was pleased to start the match, but by the end of the 90 minutes was desperate to hear the final whistle".
In the second video, "Manager Jason Lee delivered an honest and informative assessment of the Pilgrims' situation following their heavy defeat at Altrincham. Lee discussed United's shortcomings at Moss Lane, which combined with Altrincham's excellent display, led to a big home victory... Lee discussed the need for 'strong characters' in times of adversity and is confident that co-boss Lee Canoville and illness-struck defender Alan White could be back for the trip to Histon".
Time to don an anorak (purchased in a sale at Leonard Rosenfield’s menswear shop circa 1983, naturally) and divulge this week‘s esoteric Altrincham FC statistic, as the Robins prepare to contest a fixture against that old adversary, Boston United, for the 63rd time.
During the period covering the last fifty years, Boston United are the only club against whom Alty have recorded final scores that have included each figure from zero to seven respectively.
Left: Gavin Rathbone captures Michael Twiss's goal against Boston.
If all that sounds a trifle perplexing, I will endeavour to elucidate with examples.
Those unlucky 13 results comprise seven goalless draws; a trio of 1-0 defeats; a single 2-0 loss; a solitary 3-0 reverse and, thankfully, just the lone 4-0 drubbing.
The most high profile goalless encounter was surely that FA Trophy Semi-Final First Leg staged at Moss Lane on Saturday, 6th April 1985 in front of a crowd of 2,047. However, I’ve opted to spotlight a later impasse involving clean sheets for both teams for an entirely different reason.
The 0-0 draw in the GM Vauxhall Conference fixture between the Robins and the Pilgrims at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 11th April 1989 seems outwardly like a rather unremarkable late season game. However, there was an alarmingly meagre total of merely 343 spectators present on that particular evening, which represents Alty’s third lowest ever attendance figure for a home Conference fixture. Indeed, it’s only 11 more than the club’s Conference nadir, which had been established when only 332 diehards had opted to turn out for the visit of Sutton United on the previous Wednesday.
Disillusionment and cynicism had taken root in many Alty supporters against the backdrop of a season overshadowed by High Court injunctions to counteract attempted Boardroom coups; financial problems in the wake of the Tommy Docherty fiasco; the unpopular decision to dispense with the club’s long-serving secretary, Dave Baldwin; the management team of John King and Graham Heathcote being precluded from bolstering the playing squad prior to the transfer deadline and even a substandard Moss Lane playing surface (until the belated return of the legendary Jack Thorpe to groundsman duties).
The Alty line-up on that evening was: (1) Jeff Wealands (2) Mike Farrelly (3) Darren Heesom (4) Paul Cuddy (5) Martin Baker (6) Terry Farrell (7) Bill Parry (8) Nicky Daws (9) Gary Stewart (10) Nigel Shaw (11) Andy Green (Subs) Kevan Hawkins and Barry Knowles.
Alty incurred their heaviest defeat at the hands of Boston United in an NPL match at York Street on Saturday, 18th September 1976, when even the presence of the mercurial Joe Flaherty in the Robins’ starting XI could not prevent them from collapsing to an eventual 4-0 hiding.
The Robins’ first victory over the Pilgrims arrived at the third attempt, by virtue of a 1-0 NPL success against Jim Smith’s league leaders in front of a gate of 1,479 at Moss Lane on Saturday, 28th February 1970.
The only goal of the contest comprised a 34th minute penalty converted by Charlie Rackstraw, which constituted the 39th consecutive spot kick that he had scored. Alas, just nine minutes later, the former Chesterfield and Bradford City inside forward would contrive to shatter his proud record of never having missed a penalty kick during his professional career. Alty were awarded their second spot kick of the match after the visitors‘ towering goalkeeper, Malcolm White, had hauled down Jackie Swindells just as the latter had been poised to score. Rackstraw duly sent the goalkeeper the wrong way from the penalty spot but his effort struck the foot of the post and rebounded to safety.
Altrincham: (1) George Smith (2) Steve Houghton (3) Gary Walsh (4) Peter Jones (5) Laurie Brown (player-manager) (6) Freddie Stewart (7) Ian Morris (8) Mick Walker (9) Jackie Swindells (10) Charlie Rackstraw (11) Andy Haddock (Sub) Ron Smith.
Boston United’s last appearance at Moss Lane transpired in a Unibond League Challenge Cup Fourth Round Replay enacted at Moss Lane on Tuesday, 24th February 1998. The original tie had concluded in a 1-1 draw at York Street on the previous Wednesday with Paul France getting on the scoresheet for Alty.
A crowd of 283 looked on as Alty’s supremacy on the evening was swiftly emphasised by means of two early goals from Jamie Taylor (five minutes) and Nathan Comley-Excell (17 minutes) respectively. The Pilgrims’ sole riposte only emerged with two minutes of the game remaining and was scored by Chris Cook, who had enjoyed a loan spell with the Robins during the 1989/90 season. Boston’s goalkeeper on that date was a certain Paul Bastock, who will almost certainly be fulfilling the same role for the Lincolnshire club this afternoon.
Altrincham: (1) Matt Dickins (2) George Shepherd (3) Danny Adams (4) Paul France (5) Mark Maddox (6) Jamie Taylor (7) Stuart Terry (8) Ricky Harris (9) Niell Hardy (10) Nathan Comley-Excell (11) Danny McGoona (Subs) Andy Brown; Chris Sharratt and Steve Carroll.
That specific fixture would prove to be John King’s penultimate match as the manager of Altrincham FC, as he proceeded to submit his resignation on Thursday, 5th March 1998.
During a sequence of 10 consecutive unbeaten matches against the Pilgrims spanning the 1978/79 to 1981/82 seasons inclusive, the Robins even recorded three successive 3-0 home league victories over the men in amber and black.
However, I’ll jump forward to the GM Vauxhall Conference fixture staged at York Street on Saturday, 20th January 1990, which attracted a gate of 1,458. Stan McEwan put the hosts in front after merely seven minutes and then the Robins were repeatedly thwarted by the exploits of the Boston goalkeeper, John McKenna, who had been a member of Alty’s 1979/80 Lancashire League reserve team. Defender Martin Hardy doubled the home side’s advantage in the 47th minute but Mark Hughes pulled a goal back for Alty within sixty seconds.
After Jeff Wealands had saved Colin Morris’ 55th minute penalty, the Robins exhibited some of the fighting spirit that, alas, had been so conspicuously absent during the preceding Saturday’s notorious 5-0 capitulation in the FA Trophy First Round clash at Colne Dynamoes. Goals from Nicky Daws (60 minutes) and Martin Baker (74 minutes) respectively duly secured three league points.
Altrincham: (1) Jeff Wealands (2) Peter Byrne (3) John McMahon (4) Paul Rowlands (5) Martin Baker (6) Gary Simpson (7) Jonathan Crompton (8) Andy Reid (9) Mark Hughes (10) Wayne Entwistle (11) Nigel Shaw (Subs) Nicky Daws (for Crompton) and Eddie Murray (for Entwistle).
At a fog-enshrouded York Street on Saturday, 11th November 1978, strikes from Jeff Johnson (93 seconds) and John Rogers (62 minutes), accompanied by a Graham Heathcote brace (64 minutes and a 73rd minute penalty), enabled Alty to claim an impressive 4-1 league triumph at the headquarters of the presiding NPL Champions. The hosts’ solitary reply had arrived via Jim Kabia in the 40th minute.
On the evening of Monday, 22nd September 1980, the Robins trounced Boston United 4-0 at Moss Lane in an Alliance Premier League (APL) Cup (Bob Lord Trophy) Second Round First Leg tie watched by 1,037 spectators. The goalscorers on that particular occasion were John Rogers (18 minutes); Jeff Johnson (66 minutes); John Davison (a scorching left foot drive on 70 minutes) and Graham Heathcote (a superb last minute right foot dipping shot from outside the penalty area, which he adroitly executed whilst carrying his shinpads!).
Tommy Docherty’s fourth game in charge at Moss Lane produced a 4-1 GM Vauxhall Conference conquest of the Pilgrims almost 24 years ago on Saturday, 10th October 1987 and promptly elicited the headline: “Doc’s Boston Stranglers” from the Altrincham Guardian reporter. A crowd of 1,364 witnessed goals from Carl Hodgert (19 minutes); Mike Farrelly (58 minutes); John Timmons (an exquisite 63rd minute chip) and Ronnie Ellis (85 minutes). Gerard Creane‘s 89th minute penalty was scant consolation for the beleaguered Pilgrims.
On the rainswept evening of Monday, 23rd September 1974, Roy Rees’ exciting side outclassed the reigning league Champions 5-1 in an NPL fixture at Moss Lane attended by 1,142 observers. After an uncharacteristic error by their goalkeeper, Peter Eales, had allowed Brian Fidler to give the Pilgrims the lead in the opening few minutes, Alty unleashed a scintillating performance featuring goals from Ian Morris (a vicious 20th minute volley); Graham Heathcote (a 35th minute penalty); John Davison (69 minutes) and John Hughes (80 minutes - his ninth in only his 11th game for the club), all capped off by a brilliant diving header from their dynamic captain, Lennie Dickinson, six minutes from time.
Altrincham: (1) Peter Eales (2) Stan Allan (3) Mickey Brooke (4) John Owens (5) Gerry Casey (6) Lennie Dickinson (7) Ian Morris (8) Graham Heathcote (9) Phil Smith (10) John Hughes (11) John Davison (Sub) Andy Windsor.
Alty’s first APL visit to York Street on Saturday, 16th February 1980 attracted a gate of 2,284 and was marked by a breathtaking display from the title-chasing Robins, which culminated in a stunning 5-2 triumph. Jeff Johnson opened the scoring after merely 50 seconds of the first half had elapsed and then further goals ensued from Barry Howard (17 minutes); John Rogers (29 minutes); Howard once again (a sublime solo effort after 43 minutes) and Barry Whitbread (51 minutes). As the Robins eased off somewhat, the Pilgrims claimed a couple of goals via Dave Poplar (66 minutes) and Bobby Brown (83 minutes) but their unbeaten home record in the APL had simply been obliterated.
The Robins’ previous league game had comprised that momentous 9-2 annihilation of Merthyr Tydfil at Moss Lane on Saturday, 16th February 1991 and they duly resumed their prolific goalscoring feats against Dave Cusack’s bewildered Boston United outfit to register a crushing 6-2 victory in front of 1,201 largely transfixed spectators.
Ken McKenna put the Robins ahead after only three minutes but Keith Scott levelled matters 16 minutes later. Two goals from John Brady (35 and 39 minutes) were then followed by a reply on behalf of the hosts from Paul Cavell (43 minutes). Brady completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute and Ken McKenna proceeded to follow suit by means of strikes in the 70th and 80th minutes respectively. This constituted McKenna’s third hat-trick of that season to date and denoted that he had now scored in nine consecutive games.
Altrincham: (1) Jeff Wealands (2) Tommy Miller (3) Harry Wiggins (4) Paul Rowlands (5) Andy Rooney (6) Gary Anderson (7) Andy Reid (8) Nicky Daws (9) John Brady (10) Ken McKenna (11) Paul Showler (Subs) Mark Hughes and Martin Lewis.
With the aforementioned and much-vilified Casey acting as the bete noire for the aggrieved majority of the 707 spectators, Alty exacted a minor form of revenge for that bitter FA Trophy exit by dishing out a 7-2 massacre of player-manager Arthur Mann‘s team.
The Robins’ goals came via Phil Gardner (four minutes); John Davison (58 minutes); a Ronnie Ellis double (35 & 55 minutes) and a hat-trick from Graham Bennett (17, 44 & 69 minutes), which took his total for the season to 25. On target for the visitors were Gerard Creane (45 minutes) and Brian Thomson (66 minutes). One week later, Boston United lost 2-1 to the Gola League Champions, Wealdstone, in the FA Trophy Final at Wembley.
Incidentally, Boston United’s hapless goalkeeper on that afternoon, Kevin Blackwell, was suffering the rank misfortune of conceding seven goals at Moss Lane for the second time in his career, as he had been a member of the Barnet side which had been vanquished 7-0 in that APL Cup Semi-Final Second Leg on Monday, 25th February 1980.
Altrincham: (1) Trevor Dance (2) David Constantine (3) John Davison (4) Elfyn Edwards (5) Jeff Johnson (6) Phil Gardner (7) Gary Anderson (8) Peter Conning (9) Ronnie Ellis (10) Graham Bennett (11) Mick Hardman (Subs) Paul Cuddy and Mike Fagan.
Let’s hope that this particular statistical sequence will have been extended to include the number eight by 5.00pm today. BARRY PIKESLEY (with thanks to Paul Burton and Mike Garnett)".
Probably More Tears Than Joy!
"I was very surprised to realise that it is over thirteen years since Boston United last visited Moss Lane. When I started watching Altrincham seriously in the early seventies, the Pilgrims and Wigan Athletic were probably the two strongest teams in the Northern Premier League. The first time I saw them was in a scoreless draw here in about 1971, when Jim Smith was player-manager, but it was the 1973/4 season that was to prove one of the most harrowing experiences of my young life as an Alty fan. From the turn of the year, it seemed that we were set fair for our first Northern Premier League title.
We went around a thousand minutes without conceding a goal in February/March before wildly imploding in the last few games, to allow the Lincolnshire side to snatch the winners’ medals right from our grasp. To add insult to injury, having drawn 2-2 in the first leg of the Northern Premier League Cup Final at York Street, then taken an early lead through Tony Broadhead in the second leg, we conceded twice in the last ten minutes and the trophy headed east.
In 1985 they were at it again. The first leg of our FA Trophy Semi-Final at Moss Lane had ended scoreless and Wembley appeared to be a dim and distant prospect, as Boston led 2-0 at half time of the second leg. Alty were also a man down, courtesy of the successful winding up, by Pilgrims full back Paul Casey, of our leading scorer, Graham Bennett. Somehow, we managed to dominate the second half and got back on level terms, with Jeff Johnson scoring a wonderful equaliser with about ten minutes to go, only for Bob Lee to score an injury time winner. In forty four years of watching Altrincham, that was definitely one of my worst moments... and there have been a few!!!!
On a more positive note, there have been some great victories over our visitors today. I seem to remember that in our two Conference winning seasons of 1979/80 and 1980/81 we won 4-1 and 5-2 at York Street. The 6-2 win there in February 1991 was incredible, yet there was a slightly hollow feel to our 7-2 victory here at the end of the 1984/5 season, as Boston were the ones who were off to Wembley to play Wealdstone and we were left to rue what might have been!
Oddly enough, there is a framed picture of a Boston United goal, hanging up in our house. On their last league visit to Moss Lane in September 1997, Leroy Chambers headed the opening goal, as we went down 2-1, but it was of family significance as it was the first goal my son saw scored at our spiritual home! Chambers was an Altrincham player within a year and quickly became a goal-scoring hero in the Unibond League Premier Division title-winning season. The beginning of his ultimate downfall seemed to be when he returned to York Street for a 2-0 F.A. Trophy defeat in February 1999, only to suffer, along with Paul Robertson, the worst racist abuse that I have known in all my time watching football.
That dreadful incident took place within seconds of the finish of the last encounter between the two teams and we renew battle today with both teams having been sat on the naughty chair for the last few days. There were a few Alty fans at Kidsgrove on Tuesday night and, for the second time in four days, we saw a Blue Square Bet North club deservedly vanquished by a team from two rungs down the football ladder.
It’s a big game for two of the bigger clubs in this league today!
AFC Halifax Town "have confirmed that Nick Gray has left the Club after an injury hit stint with the Shaymen. Town boss Neil Aspin signed Gray during his first season and the former Leeds United winger made a big impact in his second spell at the Club having played for Halifax Town AFC under Chris Wilder. He has been plagued by a back injury last season which has seen him have surgery on... Meanwhile trialist Kevin Holsgrove [ex-Alty], who has been at Boston United this season, has also been released this week".
Right: No offence was seen by the officials when Astley Mulholland was clearly pulled back as he advanced on goal; but Astley got his revenge later, scoring his first league goal for Altrincham. Photo courtesy of Gavin Rathbone of GR Photography.
Boston United's website reportss that "Boston United suffered a thumping 6-1 defeat at the hands of Altrincham at Moss Lane on Saturday... The Pilgrims could have few complaints with the eventual outcome — with goalkeeper Paul Bastock providing the only barrier between Altrincham’s strikers chalking up double figures...
Both sides tried to play good football on a slick surface early on, but there were few chances created before Altrincham took the lead on 14 minutes... [At 2-0, after the break,] the Altrincham barrage continued... Reeves completed his hat-trick after rolling free from Gareth Jelleyman to fire past an exposed Bastock.
But, according to the BBC, Damian Reeves did not score a hat-trick as they have recorded the scorer of Alty's first goal as Reid - Adam Reid was Alty's substitute keeper, yesterday, and did not get on to the pitch!
Left: Lee Sinnott discusses tactics with Neil Tolson during Saturday's game.
Lee explained how he had wanted to hold the meeting following last week's very disappointing defeat by Witton Albion in the FA Cup. The manager explained that whilst he could not guarantee a repetition in the future of the poor performances against Witton and, earlier, Solihull Moors, he was confident that such lapses would be fewer and farther between. Today, he felt the team had been "magnificent" especially, as he pointed out, because Boston had previously conceded so few goals (9 in 11 matches). Lee went on to stress the importance of mental strength in building a successful football team. He described Alty as currently "a work in progress".
The Boston fans present were taking their defeat well, stating that "at least we are still here", rather than out of existence. They told Lee that Altrincham were the best side the Pilgrims had encountered this season, a sentiment which, predictably, went down well with the rest of the audience.
Club chairman, Grahame Rowley, reitereated how Alty was living within its income and that gate receipts this season, overall, had been at the budgeted levels. He encouraged everyone to support club functions as gate receipts only brought in a third of the necessary income to the club.
Asked by Pete Hughes about the players' attitude to losing the FA Cup money last week, Lee and Neil both said that the players realised they had let the club down but they had responded today. Lee took heart from securing 13 points from the last 6 games compared with only 6 points from the first half-dozen games this season. He also explained how four of the squad had been ill in the lead up to today's match as a bug is sweeping Moss Lane.
Neil Tolson paid tribute to Damian Reeves, saying he trained hard and gave his all in games. But he could not understand why, in training, Alty's top marksman came to ask his assistant manager's advice on which positions to take up during a game! Lee then saluted Michael Twiss for his performances this season, a point supported by Neil, who stressed his ability to play with his back to goal and bring other players into the game. Both men were also delighted that Astley Mulholland had scored his first senior goal for the club.
James Lawrie was also praised as Lee confirmed the details of the loan arrangements for both him and Rob Williams from Telford.
whilst conceding that the meeting tonight had been made easier by today's result, Lee explained that whatever the outcome on the pitch today, he would have gone ahead with the session as he believed in honesty, whatever the circumstances.
Right: Damian Reeves leaves the field to a supporters' accolade, as Simon Richman replaces him. Damian has now hit 13 goals in 12 league matches this season. Alty's last league hat-trick was scored by Colin Little on 7 April 2007 at St Albans in a 5-1 win; and the opposition keeper that day? It was Paul Bastock, who was Boston's keeper today. In fact he kept the score down today with three or four important saves.
Saturday, 8 October
Live text updates will also be available on his website's Matchday Updates page.
From the other side, you can also hear live commentary on Boston's United Live.
TASC advise that "There will be a 'Bottle Bar' available during the half-time interval and after Saturday's game against Boston United. The bottlebar is located on the right hand side as you enter the Noel White Suite".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Boston United travel to Altrincham on Saturday to renew acquaintances with one of their oldest Conference rivals... although the two clubs have not met since February 1999 when two goals from Paul Watts booked United a place in the FA Trophy quarter-finals...
United travel to Moss Lane with an 18-man squad at their disposal — including new signings Craig Armstrong and Sam Mulready. Alan White and Chris Hall should both return from illness for the trip to Greater Manchester. Injuries are set to rule out Lee Canoville (knee), Tom Ward (ankle) and Mickey Stones (knee), while Liam Parker is likely to feature for United’s reserve team once again. Mulready will compete for a place in attack alongside fellow loanee Jordan Burrow, co-boss Jason Lee, Marc Newsham and Ben Fairclough."
Altrincham Mad has a preview of Alty v Boston. It includes, "Altrincham have been playing quite well at home, winning 3, drawing 2, and losing just 1. These high-scoring games have yielded a total of 15 goals for the Robins, with 8 goals against.
Boston United have an average recent record on the road, winning and losing 3 each of the last six games. These low-scoring games have seen just 5 goals scored and conceded. Altrincham's 16 points from 11 games sees them lie inside the top half of the table, in 9th position. Boston United lie just outside the playoff positions, picking up 17 from their 11 games so far.
These are testing times at Moss Lane for the Robins and the Madmen are unable to see past Boston United claiming victory in a close match.
In the Boston Standard we learn that "Lee Canoville has told his Boston United charges the best way to get over their FA Cup heartbreak is by claiming three points at Altrincham. The distraught Pilgrims boss said he was ‘gutted’ after his amber and blacks crashed out of the cup at Kidsgrove on Tuesday".
Canoville said of the Alty match, “It’s a game where we’re up against it and people may write us off... But the young lads will know that it’s about how you bounce back. We need to be men, when need to step out and remember this disappointment'. Canoville admits he will be dwelling on the cup result all week... 'You think about the game a lot', he added. 'But if we push on in the league and put a good run together then the disappointment seems to fade away a little'".
Canoville's fellow manager has spoken to This is Lincs. "At 5pm tomorrow, Jason Lee hopefully won't have to offer to pay the mileage costs of any Boston United supporters... The Pilgrims' player/boss did exactly that following Tuesday evening's 2-0 FA Cup replay defeat to lower-league Kidsgrove Athletic...
'One fan called me over and it would have been easy enough to walk away, but I spoke to him', said Lee, whose side are on the road again, at Altrincham, this weekend. 'At the end of the day he has an opinion and there were no raised voices. I told him that we'd put the effort in but the quality wasn't there. I told him that if he hung around I would pay the money for his diesel. I didn't see him afterwards so I didn't give him the cash – but I'm a man of my word and I would have paid up'.
Lee must pray that Boston's performance isn't so bad that it bankrupts him tomorrow, as the Pilgrims face another side who were the victims of an FA Cup giant-killing...
'Altrincham's start has been similar to ours', said Lee. 'They also lost in the cup which just shows you how unpredictable that competition can be and I imagine they will be in a similar mood to us. Going into this game our league form has been good and we're aiming to continue with that'.
Defender Alan White and midfielder Chris Hall – who missed Tuesday's game through illness – should be fit to play some part at Moss Lane.... 'If the side is changed for Saturday then people shouldn't be surprised', said Lee. 'We didn't disrespect Kidsgrove in either game, we just didn't perform well on Tuesday... But now it's mine and Lee (Canoville's) job to get spirits up again'... Meanwhile, the Pilgrims signed Grimsby Town's 18-year-old striker Sam Mulready on an initial one-month loan spell yesterday".
Indeed, the Football Conference tells us that "Boston United have signed striker Sam Mulready on an initial month-long loan deal from Conference Premier side Grimsby Town. The 18-year-old, who has recently spent a loan spell in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League with North Ferriby United, has joined the Pilgrims in pursuit of regular first-team football. Mulready was handed a professional contract by Mariners' joint bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst at the end of last season, although he is yet to figure competitively for them this campaign. Subject to the paperwork being rubber-stamped, Mulready will be available for Saturday's trip to Altrincham."
Liddle said:, 'I was disappointed with the performance as we failed to play at the tempo required for these sort of games. Chester-le-Street are a young side and they defended in numbers and made it difficult for us, and they can take great credit as they were outstanding on the night'".
Darlington play in the Football League Youth Alliance Under-18s, North-East. So far this season, their results are:
The FA report "Altrincham through after penalty shoot-out drama. Altrincham 2-2 Lancaster City (Altrincham win 4-3 on pens)...
Altrincham progressed into the Third Round Qualifying of The FA Youth Cup after emerging victorious from a dramatic penalty shoot-out against Lancaster City. With the two sides locked at 2-2 after extra-time, it was left to Altrincham midfielder Oliver Riley to keep his cool to slot in the decisive spot kick.
It was Riley who had opened the scoring but Lancaster drew level moments before half-time through the impressive Joe Bunney. Duncan Watmore restored Altrincham’s lead from the penalty spot midway through the second half only for the visitors' Sam Hibbert to head a last gasp equaliser to set up the shootout.
In the pouring rain at Moss Lane, it was Lancaster who had most of the early possession... The breakthrough came on the half hour mark with Riley arriving on cue to convert Watmore’s cross... The richly deserved equaliser arrived in the 42nd minute with Bunney capitalising on Altrincham’s failure to deal with a Cunningham corner. Altrincham regained control of the game around the hour mark, with Sam Grimshaw’s 40-yard howitzer forcing Bitner into another outstanding save. Left-back Grimshaw was growing in influence with several rampaging runs forward and it was one of these ventures into the Lancaster penalty area that drew Jack Hindle into a mistimed challenge and referee Taylor had no hesitation in pointing to the penalty spot. Watmore duly converted and Altrincham seemed set for victory...
Gaps inevitably began to appear at the back with Altrincham squandering a series of opportunities to make the game safe on the counter attack. In the 89th minute, Redmond McGuire skewed an effort wide when one on one with Bitner and there was a sense around the stadium that it was a miss which [might] just come back to haunt the hosts. And it did. In the third minute of injury time, Bunney’s cross was headed in by centre back Sam Hibbert to take the game into extra time.
Lancaster manager Phil Brown took heart from the character that his players showed in coming from behind, claiming that his side were very unfortunate to be on the losing side. 'If I’m being truly honest, I believe that we shaded the game and I think that if we would have found the equaliser a little earlier, we would have gone on to win that game. We are very proud of the lads, to go away from home and come back like they did is fantastic'.
Both sides toiled hard in extra time but with conditions worsening and tiredness becoming a factor, the match was played at a much slower pace with clear cut chances few and far between. And then came the penalties. Altrincham boss George Heslop was understandably delighted with the victory".
The NW Counties Football League reports that AFC Liverpool have signed Carl Furlong.
Meanwhile, "Colwyn Bay have signed central defender Matty Hughes on loan from Fleetwood Town ahead of tomorrow`s trip to Hinckley United. A former Glasgow Celtic under-19 skipper, centre back Hughes moved to Highbury this year after his contract at the Scottish Premier League giants expired. During his time at Celtic, Hughes skippered the under-19s".
Pitchero Non-League reports that "Vauxhall Motors have made two more signings ahead of the weekend's trek to Cambridgeshire to play Histon. Following the earlier recruit Dean Overson on loan from Bradford City come two more experienced campaigners in Matty Burke and John Lawless.
Midfielder Burke, 25, re-joins Motors from Salford City, where he had recently begun his second spell. An influential and skillful midfielder, he was instrumental in Salford's rise to North West Counties League prominence during his first spell at the club after being allowed to leave Blackpool. Has since picked up Conference experience with the likes of Barrow, Vauxhall Motors, Alfreton Town and most recently Hyde FC, from whom he rejoined City in the summer.
Lawless, 29, was originally on the books at Liverpool's academy. He was with Burscough from August 2002 to July 2003 and played had a key role in the club’s against-the-odds FA Trophy win in May 2003, helping to create both goals. In July 2003 he began his association with Welsh football when he signed for Aberystwyth Town. After one season, he moved to The New Saints in August 2004 and helped the club win the Welsh Premier title... Spells of varying lengths followed with Vauxhall Motors, Colwyn Bay, Marine, Caernarfon Town, Witton Albion, Formby, Leigh Genesis and a second spell with Burscough before joining Prescot Cables in March 2011."
FC Halifax Town "have made a second loan signing ahead of tomorrow's home match with Eastwood Town. Neil Aspin has swooped to sign 30 year old centrehalf Brett Renshaw on a month's loan from Hyde following the announcement that James Marwood has signed on loan from Gateshead. Meanwhile Town have confirmed that Bradford City have recalled striker Terry Dixon from his loan spell at The Shay".
Guiseley "midfielder Peter Davidson has left Nethermoor and returned to former club North Ferriby United, after the midfielder revealed a desire to play regular first team football".
"Workington Reds' assistant boss Viv Busby will take to the touchline for the final time at Borough Park tomorrow" reports the Times & Star. "Busby informed boss Darren Edmondson of his agonising decision to quit on Wednesday. The former Fulham, Newcastle and Stoke City striker will leave his role after the trip to Boston United on October 22...
He said, 'Viv has been invaluable to this football club. He has years of experience and trying to replace him will be a huge task. Viv is a football man through and through. He lives and breathes the game and the way he’s been with the lads has been first class. I cannot describe how important he’s been and to lose him will leave us with a massive void... Viv is a great man and he’s become a father figure to me'.
Reds host play-off chasing Guiseley... Star striker Jonny Wright misses the match through suspension, with Edmondson likely to stick with Kevin Gall and the fit again Gareth Arnison in attack."
Eastwood Town inform us that "It has been confirmed that Stevie Istead will take control of team affairs for tomorrow's match at Halifax. The new manager will be announced next week".
Alty Youth defeated Lancaster City in the FA Youth Cup at Moss Lane last night, 4-3 on penalties, after extra time, on a night of horrendous weather - heavy rain, thunder, lightning and strong winds (see above). The game had ended 2-2 after 90 minutes, with City equalizing in injury time. Alty now meet Darlington Youth in week commencing 17 October at Moss Lane. Match report in youth section.
Earlier, BSB North said that "AFC Telford United boss Andy Sinton admits he is more than happy with James Lawrie and Robbie Williams's progress while on loan with Altrincham. The Bucks' duo have both been on loan at the Blue Square Bet North club and Williams could see his time there extended by a month following the two clubs' decision to hand Lawrie a similar deal.
Striker Lawrie, who has two caps for Northern Ireland, has scored two goals while centre-back Williams has also been in impressive form. Sinton told the Shropshire Star, 'James, I believe, is a good footballer. He couldn't train for two or three weeks of pre-season, due to a gum infection, and missed four or five games so he's been playing catch-up ever since. But I know what he can do and I want him to make the most of his time at Altrincham so that he gets into a position where he can force himself into our side'.
Regarding Williams, he added, 'I might look to extend his loan at Altrincham but, like with James, put in an immediate call-back so that we can get him if needed. I don't want to send people out for games and then have them come back and sit in the stands for three months because that is counter-productive'".
"Lee Sinnott has offered Altrincham supporters the chance to air any FA Cup grievances at a meet-the-manager session immediately after Saturday’s game with Boston United at Moss Lane.
In a bold move, aimed at giving fans their say on a 2-0 Cup defeat by Witton Albion, Sinnott and his assistant Neil Tolson will field questions in the Noel White Suite from 5.30 to 6pm.
‘It was my idea, and I just felt people might want to comment on, and ask about, what happened against Witton,’ said the Alty manager. ‘It would be easy to hold these meetings when you are cruising to victory every week, but that would miss the point.
‘There was understandable frustration on Saturday, and even a couple of people getting annoyed, and I’m not going to shy away from that. I was going to arrange something further down the line, but this just seemed the right time.
‘Questions can be asked, and as long as people are constructive in what they say, I will answer them as honestly as I can.
‘We felt just as frustrated and annoyed, especially as the preparation had been so good. We planted seeds in the players’ minds that they could not take any short cuts and had to be on their mettle. Yet when the whistle went, it simply wasn’t the same team as the previous couple of games.
‘That was so disappointing, and is something that needs sorting out. We are taking two or three steps forward, then one back, and we have to find a cure for that.
‘I really feel for the supporters, and everyone else who works so hard for the club. I know how much they wanted a cup run, yet we gave Witton a goal from a situation we should have dealt with and made matters worse by failing to make the most of our possession.’
Fit-again Simon Richman is pushing for a recall to the starting line-up against Boston, while Shaun Densmore and Damian Reeves should shake off minor knocks. On Saturday, against Boston United, Alty are offering £5 admission to any Premier League or Football League season ticket holder, on production of their ticket and identification".
To all Altrincham FC Juniors Goalkeepers:
What brand and style of goalkeeper gloves does Altrincham FC goalkeeper, Stuart Coburn, wear?
The first 10 who e-mail the answer to me will receive a free pair of their choice from my range. Thanks, Ian Senior - www.skkits.co.uk
BSB North reports that "FC Halifax Town manager Neil Aspin admits he will need to ring the changes... if the club are to turn around their prospects this season... after amassing just 14 points from 11 league matches. Town will have a great chance to collect three vital points when they host relegation-threatened Eastwood Town on Saturday, but Aspin concedes he will first need to do some serious alterations to his match-day squad before the team can move forward.
'We know we have been poor and we know we have to be better', he told the Halifax Courier. 'No one is hiding from that fact. In football you have to keep working and there will be changes in personnel. We have to keep trying to bring in better players and we have to move some players on. That will happen, but it is not easy to do. I have seen enough with my own eyes that if we are going to get better we have to make changes'".
And as part of that process, Pitchero Non-League tells us that "Former Newcastle United trainee James Marwood has joined FC Halifax Town on loan from Gateshead. The 21-year-old winger, with pace to burn, has just recovered from a broken ankle sustained near the end of last season. Marwood has featured in the last two reserve games and will now link up with the Shaymen who are managed by Gateshead-born Neil Aspin,
'James Marwood is fully recovered from his injury and now needs games under his belt', said Gateshead boss Ian Bogie. 'He will get that at Halifax at a good standard of football. It is a good set-up at The Shay and is a situation that will benefit everyone'".
The Herts & Essex Observer reports that "An ambitious aim has been set for the Blues for the next stage of their campaign. Bishop's Stortford FC resume their league programme with a home game against Gloucester City this Saturday (October 8). Stortford currently lie in 18th spot with nine points from 11 games, but need to more than double this tally under the target set for their next 10 games.
First-team coach Fraser Skimming revealed the club's objectives. Skimming said, 'We are looking to get 20 points from the next 10 games. In the first 11 games we have played seven teams from the top half of the league. In the next 10 games we are playing more teams from the lower half... We are told we play great football, but we do shoot ourselves in the foot', he admitted. 'The first couple of goals we gave away against Stalybridge were comical. We have to stop that'.
Skimming, a coach at AFC Newport County when they won the Blue Square South title two years ago, outlined the policy of bringing loan signings from pro clubs to Stortford... 'Academy football is not the real world. In the Conference North there is a lot more at stake and it is a lot more physical', he said. 'With a professional they are fitter (than part-time players). Martin Allen's son Charlie spent three months at Billericay last season and it really toughened him up'.
Skimming stressed they are looking for ball players and said Sebastian Dunbar (left back) is a good prospect. He would like to see him and Richard Jones (defender) go forward more".
BSB North also tells us that "Jamie Brough has announced he is standing down as owner and manager of Eastwood Town – as a new regime looks set to take over. Brough says he and his management team are walking away after a consortium he says is headed by Staffordshire businessman Steve Lynch agreed to buy the club, though a group led by supporters is also thought to be a possible buyer.
Mr Lynch had initially been announced as becoming a major shareholder before last weekend’s FA Cup tie against Evesham United, although that initial deal later fell through. But with other interested parties since having pulled out of a potential deal, Brough expects the new owners to be in place by this weekend’s trip to FC Halifax Town, possibly with a new manager too. He said, 'I’m stepping down from my position in light of the fact new owners are set to be in place by the weekend, though even should that deal collapse I will still be leaving. I’ve met with various potential owners and supporters over the last week, and a deal has been put forward with a consortium who have finances available and are committed to taking Eastwood Town forward and making it very much a community club, which is what a number of fans wanted...
There has been a lot of back-stabbing going on from within the club and with many supporters also making things difficult it made my job impossible', he said. 'The club needs rebuilding throughout. I take a lot of responsibility for the communication between ourselves and the fans being poor during my tenure, in relation to things like the website and so on. But there are other factors and people that have made things a lot worse than they could have been'.
Brough also felt Saturday’s FA Cup exit to Evesham United wasn’t helped by the off-field uncertainty, claiming he and the players were only told just before kick-off that a deal to buy the club had fallen through. He said, 'Everyone was pretty upbeat because it seemed a deal was done and the future secured, but then we were told it had fallen through and we were all absolutely dumbfounded. That seemed to reflect in the performance we put in'. No official news had been released by Eastwood Town FC before the Advertiser went to press on Thursday morning".
The Evo-Stik North outfit ran out 2-0 winners at Moss Lane, sparking Alty fans to voice their frustration at the final whistle and Sinnott accepts they had every right to complain. 'I’m very disappointed for the supporters, the board and the club', said the Robins’ boss, who took charge following relegation last season. 'You hear rumblings at the end of the game and there were a few boos but the supporters pay their money [and] they take their choice.
'I can’t defend that performance and I’m sure the players will agree with me. You hold your hands up but you don’t make mistakes deliberately. You set out with the best of intentions but on Saturday we got it wrong, we let ourselves down. If I were to say "I thought we were great" then the supporters would think "you idiot, don’t try to pull the wool over our eyes".
'I call it as I see it. I’ll defend the team to the hilt if they did well, if they haven’t I won’t. We underperformed. I’d probably say only two or three players did themselves justice. But I accept all responsibility, the buck stops with me. We’ll have a chat about things in training this week but, collectively, we were off the boil'.
Alty came into the game with three wins from their last four but the inconsistency that dogged their league start returned...
'We didn’t see it coming', he said. 'Ask any supporter who went to Colwyn Bay and saw us at home against Nuneaton and they wouldn’t have changed the team. The preparation for the game was how it should be. We didn’t take them lightly, all our talks were geared towards being on top form because the FA Cup is synonymous with strange results – and this time we’re the victims. Come the game, we did not perform anywhere near what we’re capable of. We had the lion’s share of possession and got to their final third enough times to create and convert – in previous games we’ve done that, on Saturday we didn’t. There wasn’t the cohesion in the passing'.
Altrincham will aim to make amends this Saturday when they are at home again to Boston...
'We have to take it on the chin and move on because we don’t want a hangover concerning our league position', Sinnott added. .. 'We have to perform near our maximum to give ourselves a chance because Boston are a notoriously tight side. No one’s conceded less goals than them this season'".
Meanwhile, the Boston Standard reports in similar vein from our next opponents, Boston United. "Pilgrims' captain Gareth Jelleyman says Boston United still have the desire for success in the dressing room... but he concedes the side are lacking in quality. Speaking after last night’s shock 2-0 FA Cup exit at the hands of Evo-Stik Division One side Kidsgrove Athletic, the downbeat defender admitted things have to improve.
'We haven’t performed', said Jelleyman. 'Its not a lack of effort, but a definite lack of quality on our behalf'... Jelleyman blamed himself for the Grove’s opening goal... The captain took the steps of apologising to his teammates in the dressing room, and also publicly. But he believes the whole team were to blame for the defeat, in which the Pilgrims failed to show their two-division superiority in either the first match or the replay...
The captain added, 'We were far too direct. We’ve got footballers in our team but we didn’t play like we have. They got a couple of goals up and sat 11 men behind the ball. We weren’t good enough to break them down... I just think it looks a bit like were lacking confidence in front of goal...
Jelleyman is demanding a return to form, 'We are the players, we’re the ones who can do something about this. We’ve got to show pride in ourselves and train hard and change things'".
Joint-manager "Lee Canoville blasted his goal-shy Pilgrims after Boston United crashed out of the FA Cup... Canoville and fellow boss Jason Lee were left asking why their squad could not score a single goal in two contests against Evo-Stik Division One South opposition.
'When you don’t score in 180 minutes, you can be unlucky in the first game, but over 180 minutes you should be scoring goals', a downbeat Canoville said. The failure to progress means Boston miss out on the £4,500 cash prize... This will be a hammer blow for chairman David Newton who cut the playing budget this season... In previous years, he has budgeted for some degree of success in the competition...
Canoville says 'It’s another year I’ve been here as a manager and also as a player where we’ve gone out on the first round of the qualifiers... I’m just gutted right now, absolutely gutted'. United’s day began badly with Chris Hall and Alan White both arriving at their pick-up spots on the bus route suffering from illness. Hall, who was being sick, was sent home to avoid his germs spreading throughout the team. White was named as a substitute but didn’t put his boots on...
The manager added, 'We missed two big players but that’s no excuse'... The patched-up Pilgrims saw Ben Fairclough and Nathan Stainfield make their first starts for the club. Lee opted to play himself in attack at the expense of Jordan Burrow... After earning a booking, he continued to spend the contest berating referee Robert Jones, even running into the Grove dug out to grab a couple of matchballs in a bid to prevent the home side time-wasting, actions which could have seen him earn his marching orders".
Manager Carl Heeley said the result against the Ryman League Division One South side – forty-one places below City in the non-League Pyramid - was the lowest point of his career. But McGregor, who was re-placed at half-time by eventual goalscorer Luke Corbett, insists the players have to take the blame for an "unacceptable" display. The 33-year-old, one of the club’s senior players and also part of the coaching staff, accused his team-mates of failing to carry out instructions and reckons they should not get their wages.
He said, 'Once we cross that white line the players, myself included, have a responsibility to always give 110 per cent. I am not saying some lads did not do that but the performance wasn’t acceptable on Saturday. The reason we lost was because eleven players did not perform. I find it difficult to single anyone out who played well. They let the supporters and the club down. I can understand passing the ball and giving it away but not showing any passion when you put on a Worcester shirt is not acceptable.
McGregor added, 'Set-pieces are put on the board in the dressing room and people are not reading them before they go out. They are not doing their jobs. Some of the lads need to face up to the fact that they have let the club down. Whether they want to hear it or not, it’s unacceptable. Some need to have a long look in the mirror. It does hurt them but it needs to hurt as much when they are playing. There’s no point coming off with regrets'".
Blyth Spartans "announce the signing of former Spartans' midfield ace Michael Tait on an initial one month’s loan from Harrogate Town, with a similar deal also arranged with Bradford City for the loan of promising central defender Adam Robinson... In another busy transfer day at Croft Park, the Blyth Spartans manager Steve Cuggy has confirmed that he has allowed centre half David Coulson the opportunity to gain some first team football playing some games in the Northern League.
The likeable defender signed over the summer from Whitley Bay has featured in 10 of the Spartans opening fixtures, scoring three goals, but Cuggy feels that the emerging partnership between Wayne Buchanan and Carl Jones will limit the defender’s first team opportunitites. Cuggy said 'I’ve spoken to Davy and we’ve both agreed it would be best if he was to get some first team football under his belt, so he is speaking to a couple of Northern League sides in order for this to happen, he will, of course, remain registered with the Spartans and I would have no hesitation in bringing him back into the squad... The central defensive partnership of Carl Jones and Wayne Buchanan is settling in quite nicely and has done well and with young Adam Robinson coming in on loan from Bradford City, we felt that Davy getting a few games elsewhere would be good for everyone'".
Football Webpages adds that "Robinson is an 18-year-old central defender - based in the North East - who has featured on the bench for the first-team, but is yet to make a debut for the Bantams".
According to Football Webpages "Droylsden have taken young midfielder David Lynch on a loan from Burnley. Lynch, a first-year professional at Turf Moor, will link up with the Bloods until January. The 18-year-old former youth team captain and Clarets' youth player of the year last season has figured at reserve level for Burnley".
The same source adds that "Guiseley AFC have announced the signing of Andy Holdsworth from Alfreton Town. Holdsworth is a combative midfielder... He has previously played for Huddersfield Town, where he had a spell as captain, Oldham Athletic and Morecambe, notching up 257 appearances at the age of 27. Holdsworth will be battling for a midfield place alongside fellow ex-League players such as Ciaran Toner, Danny Boshell, Gavin Rothery and Michael Burns."
Pitchero Non-League says that "Much-travelled and experienced left-back Asa Charlton has left Worcester City to join Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division side Leamington due to travelling commitments with his new job. Thirty-three year-old centre back or left-sided defender Charlton joined Worcester earlier this year from Corby Town and has been a regular performer for them this season".
In the NWYA's "FairPlay League, Fair-Play League winners obtain free entry to the NWYA League for the following season. Teams averaging less than 2 points per match obtain 50% reduction in fees for the following season. Teams exceeding 40 discipline points in League matches are deducted 1 League point. Teams exceeding 70 discipline points in League matches are deducted 4 League points. Teams exceeding 100 discipline points in League matches are deducted 10 League points".
In the Fair-Play League - to 25/9/11 - Altrincham FC Youth have collected 20 pts from 6 games, 3.3 per match.
However, Altrincham FC first team leads the BSB North fair-play tables, despite suffering two red cards this season.
Don't forget Alty Youth entertain Lancaster City in the FA Youth Cup at Moss Lane this Thursday (7.45pm). Please come along and support them - entry is just £3 for adults, £2 for concessionaries. The winners of that tie will play at home to either Chester-Le-Street Town or Darlington in the following round. As manager George Heslop says, "Please come and support us on Thursday. We will do our utmost to bring the smiles back" following the first-team's FA Cup exit last Saturday.
Robins' £5 admission offer for Premiership, Championship & Football League Season Ticket Holders
With many clubs having no game this weekend, due to international fixtures, Altrincham are making a special cut price admission offer for their Blue Square Bet North match against Boston United on Saturday. Season Ticket holders from any Premiership, Championship or Football League Club, can gain entry to Moss Lane for just £5!
The match kicks off at 3.00pm and entrance is through turnstiles 5 and 6. As well as the relevant season ticket, a form of valid identification is also required".
Centre-back Williams has also impressed at Moss Lane but – with Shane Killock, Dan Preston and Stuart Whitehead all further up the Bucks’ pecking order – he too could be allowed to stay on for a second month".
'They were everything we expected and they got what they came for', reflected Wilkinson, who is the son of former Boston and Leeds United manager Howard. 'I'd never played against them before, but you know what you're going to get when you play against a team from a lower league. They're going to work hard and get bodies behind the ball...
For us, it's about doing the basics right. If our work ethic is right and we do the right things, we'll win the game'. Wilkinson is likely to keep his place at the back tonight after being switched to the position following a spate of injuries to defenders. The 23-year-old has impressed in his new role and has kept full-time right-back Jordan Fairclough out of the side.
'Position-wise, it's new to me, I've never played there before', added the former Tamworth and York player. 'But you should have a grasp of it if you've played the game for a while. It's not rocket science, you've just got to listen and learn... I'm enjoying it. It's a good challenge to play somewhere you've not played before'".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Vauxhall Motors have signed an international goalkeeper. On the bench as substitute keeper for Saturday`s FA Cup Second Qualifying Round draw with STL Northern League side Ashington was Gary Spotswood. Spotswood is known as the best deaf goalkeeper in the country and went to the men’s Euros in Denmark in July as a seasoned international with England and Great Britain. He has also played for Everton`s Deaf side for six years and is one of the most familiar faces around the team. Last season he was rewarded as one of two disability players` of the year at Goodison Park."
This is Lincs says that "Jason Lee blamed a lack of killer instinct after Boston United's FA Cup hopes were left hanging in the balance by Saturday's drab stalemate with ten-man Kidsgrove Athletic... The world's oldest cup competition has produced countless memorable moments over the years, but there are far more dull affairs like this. This was more of a cup shocker than a cup shock...
'We could've done without the extra game', confessed joint-manager Lee... 'At the moment we're not finishing teams off in the way that we would like'... Boston (4-4-2): Bastock; Wilkinson, Ward (Austin 4), White, Jelleyman; Semple, Milnes, Sleath, Hall; Burrow (Lee 75), Newsham (B Fairclough 60). Subs not used: J Fairclough, Millson, Stainfield, Hewitt (gk)."
On this theme, Boston United add that their "senior teams are preparing for a busy week... On Tuesday evening, the Pilgrims will contest an FA Cup with Budweiser replay against Kidsgrove Athletic at the Seddon Stadium (kick-off 7.45pm) — on the same night that United reserves entertain Heckington United...On Wednesday night, the Pilgrims’ under-18s will be hoping to progress in the FA Youth Cup with Pinxton the visitors...
Blue Square Bet North action is back on the agenda on Saturday with United making the journey to Altrincham".
In the other group, Chester have maximum points from their two games, with Mid-Cheshire and Stockport each having three points from their matches.
Altrincham FC Youth team play in the Neil Thomason Cup next Sunday (9th, 2pm), at Clay Lane, Timperley, against Warrington Town. Neil Thomason was George Heslop's popular assistant manager who, with George, guided the side to the NWYA league and cup double in 2000-01 and again in 2003-04. Left, George and Neil are seen with the 2004 trophies. Neil resigned in summer 2005 and very sadly died whilst on holiday, abroad, soon afterwards. Entry to the game is free.
Before that, at Moss Lane, on Thursday night (7.45pm), Alty Youth entertain Lancaster City Youth in the FA Youth Cup 2nd Qualifying Round. Entry is just £3 for adults and £2 for concessionaries. The winners of that tie will play at home to either Chester-Le-Street Town or Darlington in the following round. As manager George Heslop says, "Please come and support us on Thursday. We will do our utmost to bring the smiles back" following the first-team's FA Cup exit last Saturday.
Right: Stuart Coburn fields a cross in the game against Witton. Photo courtesy of GR Photography.
However manager Brian Pritchard will take note that the Northern League outfit, who play at a lower level than his team, also defeated a side ranked two tiers above them – Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division club Ashton United – on Saturday. Albion last won four successive matches in the FA Cup in 1990, a sequence that was rewarded with a televised home tie against Bolton Wanderers in the first round".
On the other hand, NL Daily reports that "Danny Johnson, manager of Ashton United, was disgusted with his team’s performance against Spennymoor Town in the FA Cup at the weekend, and described it as ‘the worst ever display' from one of his teams. Johnson couldn’t think of a single positive to take from the game and accepted that on the day Spennymoor were worthy winners and wished them all the very best for the next round.
He said, 'The Spennymoor supporters created a great occasion for their team, they were magnificent from the first to final whistle. Their team rose to the occasion and although I felt they were there for the taking we just weren’t up to the challenge. Yet again we gave away a ridiculous early goal but this time we couldn’t get up the mountain we set ourselves... I can’t put my finger on why we are so poor in the FA Cup, it’s frustrating me to death and something that hurts me an awful lot, to manage a team in the first round of the FA Cup would be unbelievable. Our performance was the worst I have ever witnessed as a football manager, from one to eleven we were dreadful, disgusting! That takes nothing away from Spennymoor but I need to focus on my team and I can’t find words to describe what I witnessed yesterday'".
FA Cup 2QR replays involving BSB North clubs are:
The northern half of the FAC3Q draw is:
Unable to fix the problem, the team and manager Carl Heeley were forced to wait for four hours on the hard shoulder of the M25 while Clerkenleap coach firm Astons tried to find another vehicle. When that search failed, the St George’s Lane club ordered five seven-seater taxis to bring the players back at a cost of £700, although it is hoped Astons will pick up the tab.
To add insult to injury, a Highways Agency truck, which had shown up to ensure City’s safety, then reversed into one of the taxis, smashing the side and almost sending it into oncoming traffic. Nobody was in the vehicle at the time.
Heeley eventually got home at 1am yesterday morning, although it would have been considerably later for some players as they live north of Worcester. 'It’s fair to say it was probably one of the worst days I have had,', the Worcester boss said. 'It just seemed to go from bad to worse. A lot of people will say we deserved what we got (after the cup defeat) but it was an absolute nightmare. We stopped to get some food and got on the M25 at 7.15pm. The coach then overheated and a water hose burst. The driver found a garage but they didn’t have a spare hose. Astons were ringing round for three or four hours trying to get another coach to bring us home and couldn’t find one. They did everything they could to help us. It was then after 11pm and we decided to order taxis to take us back to Worcester, Bromsgrove and Warwick. It’s unfortunate but when the coach breaks down you think that puts the icing on the cake. When the Highways Agency reversed into the taxi, everybody was standing there in disbelief'.
It all adds up to an episode Heeley would rather forget but, having called his players’ commitment into question at Godalming, the boss could now have some decisions to make on their futures. He said, 'We’ll let the dust settle, think about it and see where we go. I’m trying my very best to improve things and take the club forward. I need a squad of players where every single one of them is committed to the cause. But I didn’t get that in this match'".
According to NL Daily "Boston United have been dealt an injury blow after promising defender Tom Ward was ruled out for several weeks with suspected ankle ligament damage. The former Sleaford Town centre-back limped off just four minutes into Saturday's FA Cup tie with Kidsgrove Athletic at York Street.
Ward will certainly miss tomorrow night's replay and is a major doubt for United's upcoming games in Blue Square Bet North... 'He twisted his ankle and he's probably got some ligament damage', said joint-manager Jason Lee... 'He's got a big egg (on his ankle). It swelled up straight away and I imagine he'll be out for a while'" he told This is Lincs.
This is Staffs tells us that "Kidsgrove produced an heroic performance to hold Boston United to a 0-0 draw away from home, despite being reduced to 10 men for the last 20 minutes... Kidsgrove, who were without the suspended Nick Ward, had already lost his replacement Mark Beeston to injury at half-time, which forced them to regroup. Manager Peter Ward said, 'It was like to Alamo after Walker had been sent off, but defensively we were quality. The players defended for their lives and the crowd applauded them off as we lived to fight another day. Our plan was to frustrate Boston and the two midfield players sat in deeper to get tighter. We denied ourselves going forward, but we were comfortable'".
From Pitchero Non-League, "Corby Town have signed Jean-Sylvain Dossou, who joined Conference Premier neighbours Kettering Town at the end of August. Dossou is a tough-tackling midfielder previously with Potters Bar Town and Farnborough Town. He signed for Kingstonian in the summer of 2010... before joining Lewes". In this context the BBC confirms that "Kettering have placed 11 players on the transfer list, including Jean-Paul Marna and Moses Ashikodi, the pair who came to blows on Tuesday. Ashikodi, Marna, David Bridges and Jerel Ifil are available for loan or transfer, if a price can be agreed. Sol Davis, Phil Ifil, Leon McKenzie 'We have transfer-listed 11 players for varying reasons, including some who have actually performed well for the club', he said. 'It is down to the players to respond in the best way and show [manager] Mark [Stimson] that they want and deserve to play for this club'".
Bourne Local reports that "Graham Drury said the flare-up in the tunnel at the end of Corby Town’s FA Cup tie at Histon was simply part and parcel of the game. Players and management from both sides clashed at the end of the game after reportedly being sparked off by an incident between Steelmen striker Matt Rhead and Histon manager David Livermore...
'It was just a bit of banter between the two teams', he said. 'It was a hot day and there was a bit of sweaty frustration for both sides that neither of us had won it at the end and it just got a bit heated between everyone'...
'I like to think we can finish the job off at our own place but there are still 90-odd minutes to play yet and we seem evenly-matched', he said".
"Eastwood Town player-coach Lee Morris insisted off-field distractions contributed to his side's on-field performances after they fell to a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Evesham United" reports This is Nottingham. "In the wake of Craig Armstrong leaving last month the team are currently on a run of seven games without a league win so the cup was a welcome distraction for the Badgers. And with the announcement on Saturday morning of a new takeover of the club by businessman Steven Lynch, there was plenty of cause for optimism at Coronation Park.
But they were convincingly beaten by an Evesham outfit that sit one place below them in the Blue Square Bet North [?] and Morris admitted... 'We've got a professional bunch of players, but realistically we are right in the mire and need to get out', he said".
In the Eastwood Advertiser, last Thursday, "Eastwood Town boss Jamie Brough says 'The only way Evesham have an edge is that their budget is slightly bigger than ours, but other than that we’re favourites to go through given our relative position in the pyramid and our performance last week [against Hyde]. 'The players know they’re expected to win, which is the opposite to last weekend when the pressure was off us given Hyde’s start to the season'...
Regarding matters off the field, Brough didn’t want to go into too much detail over potential deals being discussed to buy or invest in Eastwood Town FC, but he did confirm meetings had taken place, including with the Eastwood Town Supporters' Association, and that more news will be revealed when the time is right".
According to This is Lincs, "Steve Housham has lamented his players after Gainsborough Trinity squandered a two-goal cushion in the FA Cup... And the Blues boss admitted it was only down to the brilliance of goalkeeper Andy Pettinger that has gifted his side a second bite of the cherry...
'I was very disappointed to come away having not guaranteed our place in the next round', conceded Housham.. 'Perhaps the players became a bit complacent and they have to learn that they can't afford to do that against any opposition... In the end we were quite lucky to get a second bite at it'...
Unfortunately, only around 50 fans took the opportunity... Rolls said:, 'We are currently above the relegation zone, still in the FA Cup and are completely solvent and we think people should be happy with that. The next step is to try and make further progress on the pitch and having spoken with Brendon, we feel the only way we are going to do that is to potentially go full-time at some point with a group of young and hungry players. On the budget we are paying out at the moment we believe we could do that and we already know of a lot of players that would bend over backwards to become a part of it. A lot of people are still living in the past down here and they have got to realise that since the days of a cheque book chairman putting £3 million into the club things have gone downhill. The harsh reality now is that Weymouth FC is a Southern League club and it may take three or four seasons to put things right, and the sooner some people accept that the better'...
The playing budget... now stands at just over £2,000 a week and at the end of last season was just under £3,700 a week. Gates are slightly down on what the club has budgeted for, which is an average attendance of 500 fans... Rolls admitted publication of the club’s annual accounts is overdue but also insisted the board felt the £3,000 it costs to get them done would be better spent on the team at this moment in time... Rolls also claimed the Weymouth FC Supporters Association has 'died a death' and called on fans to help resurrect it.
Kidsgrove striker Dave Walker was red-carded with 17 minutes remaining following poor challenges on Paul Bastock and Kevin Austin... Boston (4-4-2): Paul Bastock; Ben Wilkinson, Tom Ward (Kevin Austin 4), Alan White, Gareth Jelleyman; Ryan Semple, Ben Milnes, Danny Sleath, Chris Hall; Jordan Burrow (Jason Lee 75), Marc Newsham (Ben Fairclough 60). Subs (not used): Jordan Fairclough, Adam Millson, Nathan Stainfield, Andy Hewitt (gk)".
Mike Garnett has kindly supplied data on past encounters between Altrincham and Boston United.
Alty last met Boston United in a league match in 1997-98 season in the UniBond (Northern Premier) League. Boston won that season's game at Moss Lane 2-1 and completed a double on the last day of that season with a 1-0 win. However, Alty got some revenge by beating Boston in the Unibond league cup, after a replay at Moss Lane, the Robins going on to win that competition. The next season, Boston moved across into the Dr Marten's League, and returned to the Conference for 2000-01 season, thereby missing Altrincham who were relegated at the end of the 1999-2000 campaign. The Pilgrims won promotion to the Football League in 2002 under Steve Evans, in controversial circumstances. They were relegated back to the Conference in 2007 but before the season started, they were demoted to Conference (Blue Square) North for financial reasons. They were again demoted by the footballing authorities in summer 2008, returning to the UniBond Premier League, before winning promotion back to the BS North for 2010-11 season.
In 1998-99, despite being in different leagues, the sides did meet, Boston United winning a 5th Round FA Trophy match in Lincolnshire, in which Alty's team included ex-Pilgrim, Leroy Chambers (right), as well as future Boston icon, Paul Ellender.
Titchiner wriggled past Mark Lees to fire the underdogs in front on the quarter hour before Buchan added gloss when he raced on to Josh Hancock’s assist to add a second goal with three minutes left. Alty, who twice had goals ruled out for offside, have now failed to score an FA Cup goal in each of the past three seasons. Happy Witton bank £4,500 as a reward for their success – their fifth in a row in all competitions – to take their earnings for the season to £9,000".
Worcester, who missed out on £4,500 in prize money, conceded twice in the first 11 minutes at Wey Court before sub Luke Corbett headed a consolation in the final minute. Heeley said, 'I am absolutely devastated. On behalf of my team I want to apologise to the directors and the supporters who follow us through thick and thin because that performance wasn’t good enough. It just goes to show when you don’t do things right you get beaten. It’s without doubt the lowest point of my career. It’s my team and I pick the players so I take responsibility when we win and I take responsibility when we get beaten. But I feel let down'.
He added, 'It’s a massive competition, it’s huge for the club and we’ve shot it down. Whatever the implications are because of that, we have to accept it. We haven’t got any prize money and that’s a savage blow to us'".
More successful was a former Alty loan player at AFC Halifax Town where "Goal scorer James Dean believes that 'relief' is the word to describe the mood in the dressing room after yesterday's 2-1 FA Cup win over Tadcaster Albion... 'The lads are relieved and it's nice to get a result. Credit to Tadcaster, they played very well. They came here and they weren't frightened of anything and they were confident and I think they deserved to be 1-0 up at half time'...
'As you can see with 20 minutes to go we were still 1-0 down so anything can happen'. Having come off the bench to bag the equalising goal, Deano thought Neil Aspin's changes mid way through the second half made a huge impact... 'A decent Cup run would do us good, we have been unlucky in the past, the season before last we had Wrexham and Mansfield last year, and we matched them with just one goal in it, so if we can get that little bit of luck, we have a good chance I think'".
Right - Robbie (right) with Mark Lees, before kick off against Witton.
Robbie has a degree "in PE and Sports Psychology from John Moores University... The psychology studies have left a lasting impression on him and his life. 'I find myself constantly doing it' he admits. 'I'm always looking for reasons for things that happen, whether it involves the lads on the team or even my three year-old daughter, Emma'.
By day, Robbie is Head of PE and teaches Psychology at St Margaret's Church of England High School, Merseyside, a role he has held for the past decade.
It was [as] an 11 year-old youngster in his native Liverpool that Robbie's footballing talent was first spotted, seeing him end up in Liverpool FC's Centrre of Excellence, which eventually became the Academy.
While at Liverpool, Robbie realised that he wasn't going to make the top flight of players... and didn't want to end up as a full-time pro in a lower league.
So, when he was released at the age of 16, he embarked on a career which combined getting an education, leading to a good job, with run outs with smaller clubs. One of the fittest footballers around, he became plagued with injuries through a pelvic problem at the age of 26....
Having worked himself back to peak fitness he has been sidelined again but expects to be back in the team shortly. Now aged 32, he believes he has at least another season left in his career at Altrincham...
The prospects for Altrincham are currently among the subjects for Robbie's apparently compulsive analysis traits, traits that never fail to irritate the person closest to him, his wife Lynne. 'She describes it as mental torture' says Robbie".
LET ALBION SHAKE.
According to my arithmetic, in the period spanning the start of the 1965/66 Cheshire County League season up until just prior to this afternoon‘s kick-off, Altrincham and Witton Albion have contested a total of 36 fixtures in an array of different competitions. The Robins’ record in these encounters reads as follows: won: 13; drawn: six; lost: 17; goals scored: 61 and goals conceded: 65.
Only a third of those aforementioned meetings have actually comprised matches when the two teams have been members of the same league (Cheshire County League: 1965/66 to 1967/68 and GM Vauxhall Conference: 1991/92 to 1993/94). The remainder consists of ties in the following diverse range of cup competitions: FA Cup (one); FA Trophy (one); GMAC Cup (two); Unibond League Cup (one); Cheshire Senior Cup (14) and the North West Floodlit League (five).
Anyhow, here are a few random reflections on a handful of those clashes and some individuals who have established links with both clubs over the years.
OBVIOUSLY FIVE BELIEVERS So, what are the chances this afternoon that the players will emulate the ten goal thriller served up by their counterparts when the two clubs met in the Cheshire County League fixture enacted at Moss Lane on Saturday, 14th October 1967?
The Robins opened the scoring in the fifth minute via a Les Campbell shot but Trevor Ogden equalised for the visitors merely two minutes later. Within sixty seconds of the restart, Johnny Worth had restored the hosts’ lead and then the prolific Jackie Swindells’ fine low 20-yard drive doubled Alty’s advantage after 11 minutes. Worth duly claimed his second goal of the contest in the 22nd minute, when his shot evaded Witton’s goalkeeper, Peter Mellor, who would later play for the likes of Burnley; Fulham and Portsmouth. Albion then managed to reduce the arrears courtesy of a 39th minute penalty converted by their player-manager, Ken Barnes, the former Manchester City and Wrexham wing half.
Four minutes into the second half, Swindells’ header put the reigning Cheshire County League Champions 5-2 up and ostensibly coasting to a comfortable victory. However, with the Robins’ goalkeeper, Brian Quigley, now hobbling due to an injury, Witton began to assail the home defence and promptly scored three goals in the closing nine minutes via Barrie Wheatley (two) and Ogden again to level matters at 5-5 in front of 2,982 somewhat breathless spectators.
Should such a repeat of that extraordinary scoreline transpire today, I suspect that Lee Sinnott’s customarily immaculate tie knot might even become ever so slightly dishevelled in all the accompanying excitement!
KINGY’S UNFRIENDLY FRIENDLY Back on the evening of Tuesday, 7th August 1979, I recollect venturing to Witton’s former headquarters at the Central Ground in order to watch Alty’s second pre-season friendly of that particular Summer.
Second half goals from Alan Heathcote; his younger brother, Graham, and John Rogers respectively had put the Robins 3-0 up and all seemed well with the world. However, just five minutes from the end of the game, the Robins’ combative captain, John King, became embroiled in a contretemps right in front of the main stand in the shape of an unexpected altercation with his former Moss Lane team mate, Ian Morris, during which he appeared to kick the erstwhile Alty winger in an act of retaliation. This bizarre incident played out right under the nose of the referee, who had no other option but to send the Robins’ skipper off.
Consequently, Kingy found himself suspended for Alty’s opening fixture of the inaugural season of the Alliance Premier League at Weymouth on Saturday, 18th August 1979.
BOTH SIDES NOW Twenty players who have recorded appearances for both the Robins and Witton Albion during their respective careers: Alan Heathcote; Graham Heathcote; Rod Thornley; Dave Carrick; Brendan Burke; Gary Stewart; Fred Taberner; Kieran Lugsden; Paul Cuddy; Dean Pritchard; Gary Scott; Barry Howard; Jason Gallagher; Andy Reid; Paul Higginbotham; John Timmons; Darren Heesom; Joe Paladino; Mark Hughes and John McAliskey.
THERE IS A LIGHT THAT NEVER GOES OUT The momentous occasion of the first game to be played under floodlights at Moss Lane unfolded on the evening of Monday, 4th April 1966, when the Robins entertained Witton in a Cheshire County League fixture. The installation of this new floodlighting system had involved an outlay of £10,000 by the progressive Board of Directors at Altrincham FC and the club was also preparing to unveil the new £37,000 Red Robin Club on Friday, 29th April 1966.
A crowd of 4,323 was present to witness Alty triumph 4-3 in their relentless (and ultimately successful) pursuit of the Cheshire County League title. The Robins’ scorers were Ronnie Taylor; Jimmy Brown (penalty) and the inevitable Jackie Swindells (two). Fred Taberner and Bill Tynan (two) replied for the visitors.
THE SMITH OK then, who remembers that former Albion and Alty striker, Tommy Smith?
Born in Wolverhampton on 30th July 1959, he had brief spells with Sheffield United and Huddersfield Town before signing for Emley, from whom he joined Witton at the outset of the 1983/84 Northern Premier League season, during which he went on to score 31 goals for the Central Ground club. The ensuing season saw him accumulate an additional 15 goals in Albion’s colours whilst emerging as a much sought-after striker. A prospective £6,000 transfer to Fourth Division Port Vale was rejected and then shortly afterwards, the Alty manager, John King, decided to swoop and bring him to Moss Lane in January 1985.
Having registered his Alty debut as a used substitute in a 2-1 Gola League reverse at Weymouth on Saturday, 26th January 1985, he proceeded to score a couple of goals on his first appearance at Moss Lane just three days later, as the Robins defeated Congleton Town 3-1 in a Cheshire Senior Cup First Round tie observed by 400 hardy souls.
To be honest, the sole goal by him on behalf of the Robins that has managed to lodge in my memory occurred in the opening minutes of a Gola League derby versus Northwich Victoria on a snow-dusted Moss Lane pitch on Saturday, 9th February 1985. I can recall him charging down an attempted clearance by the Vics’ goalkeeper, Dave “Slob” Ryan, at the Chequers End, whereupon the ball fortuitously rebounded off his body and proceeded to nestle into the vacant net to put the Robins 1-0 up. Alas, the green slime eventually prevailed in front of a gate of 1,246 and took the spoils as the game ended 2-1 in their favour.
For reasons that escape me all these years later, Tommy Smith’s career never really took off at Moss Lane and the initial high expectations of him simply failed to materialise. After only eight (plus five as a sub) appearances and a tally of four goals for the Robins, he was transferred to Northwich Victoria in August 1985 as part of an exchange deal that brought Paul Reid to Moss Lane.
G-L-O-R-I-A This afternoon’s FA Cup tie denotes the welcome return to Moss Lane of that former Altrincham FC Chairman (the artist formerly known as Terraceman and a one-time editor of the Robins Review), Mark Harris, in his current capacity as the Chairman of Witton Albion FC.
Whilst many present today will, of course, recall Mark’s contribution at Moss Lane in various guises over many years, I suspect that only an elite few will be aware of possibly his greatest claim to his personal fifteen minutes of fame, namely his appearance on an edition of the ITV peak time game show We Love TV, which somehow contrived to run for three series between 1984 and 1986.
The premise of this spellbinding piece of broadcasting was to partner a C-list TV ’celebrity’ with a member of the Great British public and then ask both of them some questions based on the topic of TV nostalgia.
I have been assured that incriminating videotape evidence still exists of the moment when Mister Harris (having reportedly overindulged on the pre-show hospitality) drops down to one knee and proceeds to serenade the programme’s esteemed host, none other than Gloria Hunniford herself. Alas, notwithstanding repeatedly tendering bribes to Mark’s wife, Andrea, I have so far failed to procure a copy of this precious footage on behalf of the wider public interest.
I KNOW IT’S OVER Now, the last thing that I wish to do today is afflict Lee Sinnott with any sort of hoodoo or hex but my research has revealed some irrefutable proof that at least three previous Alty managers have discovered, to their eternal cost, that losing to Witton Albion can seriously damage your Moss Lane career.
Back on the afternoon of Tuesday, 23rd November 1971, the Robins had succumbed to an ignominious 1-0 away defeat at the hands of Les Rigby’s Rossendale United of the Cheshire County League in a delayed FA Cup First Round fixture. This dismal result engendered serious financial implications for the Robins‘ Board of Directors, as it had deprived the club of a potentially lucrative Second Round tie against Bolton Wanderers at Moss Lane.
Right: Mark Harris, in his Alty days, with striker Steve Finney.
Saturday, 4th December 1971 found the Robins undertaking an FA Trophy Third Qualifying Round assignment against Witton at the Central Ground in front of 952 onlookers. Cognisant of the fact that his job was clearly in jeopardy, the Alty manager, John Davis, adopted a largely negative approach to this game with the objective of securing a replay at Moss Lane. Unfortunately for him, this strategy duly backfired when Albion’s Keith Jones scored the only goal of the contest just four minutes from time, thereby eliminating the Robins from their second major cup competition within a fortnight.
Three days later, an emergency Board Meeting was convened at Moss Lane, during which the Directors reached the unanimous decision to dispense with the services of Davis and his trainer, Alf Craig, after almost 14 months in their posts.
Next to befall the sporadic Witton ’curse’ was Stan Allan, who had, of course, vamoosed from his role as the Wincham Park club’s boss in order to become the full-time manager at Moss Lane in August 1991. However, in contrast to the unforgettably exhilarating 1990/91 season at Moss Lane, the 1991/92 campaign gradually imploded into a truly wretched spiral of despair with relegation from the GM Vauxhall Conference looking increasingly like a distinct possibility.
On the evening of Tuesday, 24th March 1992, 657 spectators observed Alty slump to a 3-1 loss at Wincham Park in the Cheshire Senior Cup Semi-Final Second Leg, having already suffered a mortifying 4-1 defeat in the First Leg at Moss Lane. This latest setback represented Alty’s ninth consecutive defeat.
Within a few days, the beleaguered Allan had been relieved of his duties and his assistant, John Davison, had been installed as the Robins’ caretaker manager for the remainder of the season, during which time the threat of demotion from the division was successfully eradicated.
Paul Rowlands was appointed as the player-manager at Moss Lane on Monday, 2nd November 1993 but his ill-starred reign would attain a duration of merely 110 days and comprise a total of 13 matches.
Saturday, 12th February 1994 brought a relegation battle versus fellow strugglers Witton Albion at Moss Lane, which drew a relatively meagre crowd of 647. An utterly abject performance by the Robins ensued (during which the hapless Ricky Harris scored for both sides) and the visitors achieved a 3-1 victory. As I trudged homewards after witnessing such a gutless capitulation, I recollect being absolutely convinced that we were inexorably destined for relegation.
Rowlands’ 13 matches at the helm had yielded just a couple of wins; a solitary draw and an alarming 10 defeats. The following day, he attended a meeting with the Alty Chairman, Bill King, and his Vice-Chairman, Gary Corbett, during which his tenure at Moss Lane was revoked. Within 24 hours, John King had been enticed back to Moss Lane from his role as Bury’s Assistant Manager. An aggregate of 37 points was duly amassed from the remaining 18 league fixtures, the outcome of which was that the Robins concluded the season in a respectable 10th position in the GM Vauxhall Conference table. Meanwhile, an ailing Witton finished in 22nd spot and, therefore, were condemned to relegation.
SOME GOALSCORERS ARE BIGGER THAN OTHERS My final reminiscence concerns a delectable moment of magic from my self-confessed Moss Lane cult idol, the incomparable Ian Tunnacliffe.
On the evening of Thursday, 22nd April 1993, fresh from their impressive 2-0 triumph at the home of the eventual Champions, Martin O’Neill’s Wycombe Wanderers, only five days earlier, Gerry Quinn’s Altrincham side faced Witton Albion in a GM Vauxhall Conference fixture at Moss Lane.
Between Paul France’s 43rd minute opening goal for the Robins and Karl Thomas’ 76th minute strike for Witton, the 925 spectators were privileged to behold an instance of implausible beauty from Alty’s towering centre forward. After 53 minutes of the contest, Tunna was put clean through on goal at the Chequers End, whereupon he promptly executed an exquisitely deft chip over the visitors’ onrushing goalkeeper, the giant Joe Paladino, to record his second goal in successive games and his fourth in total for the Robins since arriving at Moss Lane from Emley during the previous December.
Ah, the peerless Tunna! To borrow one of the catchphrases coined by that renowned stand-up comedian of the variety theatre bills of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, the late Max Miller: “There’ll never be another.”
"Return of ‘Terraceman’!!
It’s the first day of October, an intriguing looking month which starts with our entry into this year’s FA Cup now sponsored by Budweiser... highly appropriate, as some of our recent performances in this greatest of great cup competitions, have been enough to drive most Alty fans to drrrrrrink! Rather curiously, if things go well this month, we will play three rounds of FA Cup games and at this time in November, it is possible that we could be looking forward to a First Round game against one of the increasing number of ‘big name’ clubs in League One.
The magic and glamour of the cup is one thing, but harsh financial practicalities mean that the excellent prize money on offer is of paramount importance to the likes of Altrincham and our welcome visitors, this afternoon, Witton Albion. Four and a half thousand big ones for the victors today... or in Wednesday’s possible replay... £8,500 in the next round and a mouth-watering £12,500 in the last Qualifying Round on the final Saturday of the month, mean that we have the opportunity to bank over £25,000 from this competition, in prize money alone, over the next four weeks... how good would that be??????
Witton Albion have already won through two rounds to reach this stage and are over five thousand pounds better off for having achieved that... and it’s a pleasure to welcome former Altrincham Chairman, Mark Harris, back to Moss Lane. Mark is now the Chairman of Albion, but for a quarter of a century his first footballing love was Altrincham F.C.
Originally from Brighton, Mark first visited Moss Lane in the early seventies and probably first came to the attention of Altrincham fans when he took on the role of Public Address announcer, which he carried out, with aplomb, for many years in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, Mark became editor of the Robins' Review and was the author of many people’s favourite Altrincham publication ‘Kingdom Come’ published in 1995, which chronicled the events surrounding Altrincham Football Club during the 1994/5 season.
Mark also wrote a weekly article in the Sale and Altrincham Messenger under the pseudonym of ‘Terraceman’... this was always a nicely crafted contribution, punctuated with a very welcome sprinkling of irreverence!
By this time he had married Andrea, an Alty fan, who had the dubious pleasure of joining me in the Flynnmobile on many away treks, when Mark was travelling on the team coach, having graduated to become a director on the Board. We would share driving duties and I remember one remarkable incident when my life flashed before me on the way back from Gateshead, as the traffic ahead came to a grinding halt on the A1(M) and I had visions of my car being considerably reduced in size... imminently... only to breathe a huge sigh of relief as ‘Wing Commander’ Harris impressively brought the vehicle to a halt about three centimetres from the car in front, thus preventing an impending bowel movement in the front passenger seat!
Mark was very upwardly mobile at this point, becoming Vice-Chairman and ultimately Chairman, in 2001. In truth, this was a very difficult period for Altrincham F.C. as the club were embroiled in debt and Mark resigned as Chairman in 2002, a few months before the rest of the Board resigned en-masse, citing a lack of support from the major shareholders as the reason for their departure.
Since then, Mark has been involved at Witton, where he has been Chairman for a number of years and he is also The Chairman of The Evo-Stik League.
I hope Mark and Andrea enjoy coming back to Moss Lane today, but that Witton’s FA Cup exploits, for this season, are over by 5.00pm.
Time will tell!"
Right: Alty's first wearing of the Moss Lane centenary kit did not have a happy outcome. Here, Michael Twiss competes for the ball.
Altrincham's poor FA Cup form - they haven't even scored in the competition since October 2008 - saw them bow out at home to Witton Albion of the EvoStik First Division. And Alty could have few complaints as the visitors showed the greater determination to win. Despite having much of the second half possession, Alty lacked anything resembling a cutting edge, whilst it was first-half frailties at the back that allowed Witton to score.
"Radio Robins, sponsored by Paradox-Computers.com, will be broadcasting a full internet commentary of this game. Saturday's match commentary is sponsored by Ravenscroft & Co. Ravenscroft & Co is a niche firm of Chartered Surveyors based in Macclesfield, providing specialist commercial property advice to a wide range of clients, ranging from large institutional companies to small individual clients. You can find out more about Ravenscroft & Co at their website.
The match commentators are Jack Jolly and Paul Salt; commentary will start at 2.50pm. You can listen to Radio Robins on the internet
Alternatively, you can follow live text updates on the Matchday Updates page of this site.
Before Saturday's game, the Northwich Guardian reported that "Mike Moseley has backed Witton to cause a cup upset at neighbours Altrincham this weekend. Albion’s assistant manager tipped his team to thrive as underdogs...
'We’re feeling good', he said. 'The club has had a buzz around it since we knocked out Marine – it’s given everybody belief that we can do the same against Alty'. Witton have yet to concede a goal in this season’s competition, banking £4,500 as a reward for wins against Ossett Albion and Marine. They will hope for a better result than their last visit to Moss Lane in the FA Cup though; a 4-1 reverse a decade ago in which Moseley and manager Brian Pritchard were on the field.
'I remember it', said Moseley. 'I’ve got good memories of matches against Altrincham in big cup ties, so it would be great to add another this time around'. Albion make the trip in fine form after beating Woodley last weekend despite playing the final half hour with ten men following Mathew Wood’s dismissal. A midweek mauling of Leek Town in the Doodson Sport Cup was their fourth win in ten days.
Moseley said, 'It’s important to keep up the momentum we have from stringing together a few wins. That way, we’ll go to Altrincham in a positive frame of mind and with our confidence sky high. I’m excited about the draw, though of course we would have loved to be playing them at our place. It’s set up to be a spectacle whatever happens though, as both teams play the game in the right way'.
Witton Albion bid to become the first team this season to win at Moss Lane... The Albion boss handed a midweek debut to newest recruit and former Alty trialist Tom Schofield, who made a scoring cameo in a 4-0 thrashing of Leek Town in the Doodson Sport Cup. However he is likely to be without full back Anthony Gardner after he limped off with a damaged hamstring in the same game. Matthew Woolley stands by. Stopper Paul Booth is back though after serving a one-match ban.
The hosts’ skipper Robbie Lawton (knee) is a doubt after missing the Robins’ most recent matches, but loan pair James Lawrie and Robbie Williams have been given permission to play by their parent clubs. Alty’s recent record in the competition is poor – they have not won an FA Cup tie for close to three years – after they failed to score in defeats against Gateshead and Mansfield Town in each of the past two editions. Their form is excellent though, scoring 12 goals on their way to wins in three of their past four outings in Blue Square Bet North."
From BSB North we learn that "Boston United have revealed that striker Mikel Suarez has been released by joint managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville. The 25-year-old Spaniard rejoined the Pilgrims in the summer, five months after leaving York Street. However, his involvement was hampered this term after Suarez suffered a broken collarbone in pre-season.
Meanwhile, "Nuneaton Town midfielder Richard Lavery has parted ways with the club by mutual consent. Renowned for his tackling prowess, the 33-year-old ended his stay at Liberty Way after signing with the Boro from Corby Town towards the end of last season. 'Richard wanted to play games at this stage of his career, he has no issues with the club, and it is simply football that he has moved on', Nuneaton chairman Ian Neale said in a club statement".
However, Nuneaton Town "have taken [a] former Premier League Striker on loan. The former Blackpool forward has been taken on loan from Mansfield Town adding to Nuneaton Town’s forward line up. [Danny] Mitchley was part of the Blackpool team that won the Cocoa Cola championship playoff final two seasons ago and earn[t] another season with the Premier League outfit the following season...
By February 2008, Mitchley had scored 35 goals for the youth and reserve team in the 2007-08 season. Unfortunately Danny then suffered a broken foot, which kept him out of action for the rest of the season 2007-08... Mitchley is looking to get his career back on track and hopes with Nuneaton Town he can better his current one goal in three games ratio he has chalked up with Mansfield Town".
And "Blyth Spartans have announced the signing of striker Richard Offiong, following a spell in Australia. The 27-year-old South Shields-born forward started his career with Newcastle United, where his goalscoring achievements saw him pick up numerous England youth appearances upto Under-20 level. While at the Magpies, he enjoyed a loan spell at Darlington... A career which has seen the forward ply his trade in Turkey, South Korea and Belgium before a goal-laden spell in Scotland with Hamilton Academicals saw the striker move to Carlisle United for £75,000. His time at Brunton Park was not a happy one and he later joined Ostersunds FK and then moved into the Blue Square Bet Premier with Darlington and Gateshead...
Manager Steve Cuggy commented, 'We delighted to get Richard on board. He has electric pace and this will give us a different dimension to our attack, as well as offering us additional firepower upfront, which a couple of injuries have sadly robbed us of. He’s a local lad and was really keen to join us, in fact he actually got in contact with us about joining the club" report Blyth Spartans.
Also, "Blyth Spartans have re-signed midfielder Michael Tait on a month`s loan from league rivals Harrogate Town".
Tottenham Hotspur "goalkeeper Jordan Archer has joined Bishop's Stortford on loan for one month. The young goalkeeper has been capped at Under-19 level for Scotland and signed his first professional contract with Spurs in July. He will link up with former Tottenham and England goalkeeper Ian Walker, who is the manager at Bishop's Stortford".
Pitchero Non-League says that "Following the announcement earlier today that he was to be released by neighbours Nuneaton Town, rivals Hinckley United moved swiftly to re-sign former favourite Richard Lavery and have also taken youngster Charlie Raglan on a month's loan. The strong-tackling player who played in central defence when he played at Corby Town, made around 270 appearances for Hinckley in six seasons. He also had a couple of spells with Nuneaton and also turned out for Telford United.
Meanwhile, joining the Knitters on a month`s loan is 18-year-old Charlie Raglan from Port Vale. Primarily a right-back, Raglan turned professional in June 2011 after graduating through Vale's academy. He is a solid defender who can also add weight to the attack, evidenced by his eight goals for the club's youth side in 2010/11, which he captained on occasions. He also made a few appearances for the reserve side and is reckoned to have a bright future in the game".